Parent help is one of the highlights of my week. I enjoy going in my son’s class to aid his teacher and other school staff. I love working in another school environment as a chaplain. And I loved helping in my daughters’ courses when they were kids too.
It strikes me, the more I’m involved with school environments, just how holistic education is. It’s not just about the academic work or the’formative’ years. There is very much a social dimension to education which carries through beyond school, even, hesitant as I say that, into life as a 50-year-old. We are always learning.
I was reminded of this as I saw my child interact in a course session on the mat. I saw myself in his disappointment. And, thank God, not one iota of me sought to defend him.
‘It’s what it is, son. Acknowledge it and proceed.’
That’s what I felt I heard God say to my soul. It was both a private Word from my God to me, His child, in my disappointments, and from me to my son, as I agreed fully with the truth God showed me in his disappointment.
It’s inescapable. And we always feel like we’ve been hard-done-by. If we are not careful disappointment grows legs and runs full tilt toward bitterness and headlong to the eventual’prize’ of resentment.
As a five-year-old the disappointment seems obvious on the face, a heart that is momentarily rejected, but they seem quickly to get it over. But on a fifty-year-old that disappointment is often concealed in an’Oh, I’ll be fine… it’s really fine…’ when sometimes my soul is truly saying,’Gee, that hurt!’ And,’If I’m honest, I’m stunned!’
The purpose is disappointment stings. We do not expect not to get our way. And it strengthens feelings of injustice (‘it’s not fair!’) Or one of a range of other not-so-good feelings and attributions.
Two things we can do about disappointment: 1) acknowledge it occurred; that we felt the sting of disappointment, and that that is fine, without judging it, and 2) move on. That’s right, we simply move on. We don’t give the disappointment that emerges any more attention than it warrants.
I didn’t like it when it happened, but I am not going to let it define me.
Look at this now, Tough as it is, when disappointment happens, it’s best to acknowledge it hurts, take courage to feel it, learn what you can, then let go and proceed.