Parent help is one of the highlights of my week. I love going into my son’s class to aid his teacher and other school staff. I love working in a different school environment as a chaplain. And I loved helping in my daughters’ courses when they were children too.
It strikes me, the more I’m involved with school surroundings, the way holistic education is. It’s not only about the academic work or the’formative’ years. There is very much a social dimension to education that carries through beyond school, even, hesitant as I say this, into life as a 50-year-old. We are always learning.
I was reminded of this as I watched my child interact in a course session on the mat. He wasn’t picked to do something, and I glimpsed something remarkably human in his disappointment. I found myself in his disappointment.
‘It’s what it is, son. Acknowledge it and proceed.’
That’s what I believed I heard God say to my spirit.
Life is littered with disappointment. And we always feel like we have been hard-done-by. If we are not careful disappointment grows legs and runs full tilt toward bitterness and headlong to the eventual’decoration’ of resentment.
As a five-year-old the disappointment seems obvious on the face, a heart that is momentarily rejected, but they look quickly to get over it. But on a fifty-year-old that disappointment is often hidden in an’Oh, I’ll be fine… it’s really okay…’ when sometimes my soul is truly saying,’Gee, that hurt!’ And,’If I’m honest, I’m stunned!’
The point is disappointment stings. We don’t 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 could do about disappointment: 1) admit it occurred; that we felt the sting of disappointment, and that that is fine, without judging it, and 2) proceed. That’s right, we simply move on. We don’t give the disappointment that emerges any more attention than it warrants.
I didn’t enjoy it as it happened, but I’m not going to let it define me.
Tough as it is, when disappointment happens, it’s best to acknowledge it hurts, take courage to feel it, understand what you can, then let go and proceed. Read the full report online.