This post is related to the following post: Getting, owning and letting my disappointment be sets me free!
Usually my wife drives my daughter to school (along with two young girls from next door) and my eldest son takes the bus to college. Something came up, my wife asked for my help and yesterday I committed to taking the three girls to school.
This morning I was completely at peace after finishing my morning meditation. Being in that space the thought came to me: “I can be of service to my eldest son – drive him to college”. So I called in my son and told him that I would be leaving at 8:30 to drop the girls off at school and if he came with me then I’d drop him off college (after we dropped the girls at school). He was pleased: he had overslept, would not have been able to do what he needed to do, get the bus and get to college by 9:00am.
After we dropped the girls off school and there was just the two of us my son apologised. He said he was sorry for the way that he had behaved the previous day during our time playing table-tennis together at the sports centre. How did this occur to me? A genuine sharing of what was so for my son: he simply said what there was to say. He did not occur as ‘making amends’ because that was something expected of him nor of ‘sweet talking me’ to get something out of me. He went on to share that he did not know why he had behaved the way that he had behaved. I listened – just listened.
How was I left feeling? I was touched – nothing more, nothing less. I felt no sense of satisfaction like I would have done previously. Nor did I feel proud of my son (as he had done the right thing) as I would have done previously. I did not feel or think any thoughts of forgiveness because it did not occur that I had anything to forgive: I had seen into the nature of my disappointment and accepted it totally on Sunday and through that processes I had set myself free.
I was more than simply touched, I was touched deeply. I got that my son had been living with the disappointment of Sunday’s table-tennis session. His disappointment was worse: he had no-one else to blame and was left with only himself to blame. He also felt guilty at letting me, his dad, down and he had been carrying around this pain for the better part of a day.
How did I respond? I thanked him for getting my disappointment and sharing his disappointment. I also told him I loved him – that was simply what was so and I felt it deeply. I was experiencing compassion and love for my son. And I told him that I was looking forward to playing table-tennis with him. I noticed that some of the heaviness that he was carrying about his being lifted.
What is the insight?
I am not the only one who experiences disappointment. So do others. I am not the only one that experiences suffering. So do others. I am not the only one that is puzzled and asks himself “Why did I do that?”. So do others.
If I can own and be with my experience without getting wrapped up in my ‘story’ then I can be free – at peace – to be compassionate towards my fellow human beings. And I can put that compassion into the game of life and so take some of the burden off the hearts of my fellow human beings.