Parent help is among the highlights of my week. I enjoy going in my son’s class to aid his teacher and other school staff. I enjoy working in a different school environment as a chaplain. And I loved helping in my daughters’ courses when they were kids too.
It strikes me, the more I am involved with school surroundings, the way holistic education is. It’s not only about the academic work or the’formative’ years. There’s very much a social dimension to instruction which carries through beyond college, 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 found myself in his disappointment.
‘It’s what it is, son. Acknowledge it and proceed.’
That is what I believed I heard God say to my soul.
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 bitterness.
As a five-year-old the disappointment seems obvious on the face, a heart that’s momentarily rejected, but they look fast 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 fine…’ when sometimes my spirit is truly saying,’Gee, that hurt!’ And,’If I’m honest, I am stunned!’
The purpose is disappointment stings. We do not expect not to get our way. And it strengthens feelings of injustice (‘it is 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; we felt the sting of disappointment, and that that is fine, without judging it, and 2) proceed. That’s right, we simply proceed. We don’t offer the disappointment that communicates any more attention than it warrants.
I didn’t enjoy it as it happened, but I am not going to let it define me.
Tough as it is, when disappointment occurs, it is better to admit it hurts, take guts to sense it, learn what you can, then let go and proceed.