How do you handle disappointment?
Most people who lead youth know enough to know how to handle themselves with students who push all the wrong buttons. Those situations are the kind that come and go and that have been written about often.
One thing that is seldom talked about is the kind of disappointment that comes from frustration, loneliness, and pain. After fifteen years of working with students I have developed a nasty horrible part to me that goes Kraken on anyone who stands in my way.
As my heart for students has grown my frustration with lack of resources, empowerment, awareness, and committed leaders has grown as well. I’ve moved from needing help, coping without help to being angry at people who are indifferent or unwilling to care. This has created intolerance, avoidance, and cynicism in me to the point that I will write good honest people off because they don’t think like me.
When you’re in this state you will seek to get away from your anger and usually that takes you to places in your heart that you told yourself you would never go to when you started in your field. You will also become jealous of those who are outside of your area believing that the grass is greener on the other side. It is not. If you want to avoid looking like the creature in this video in your meetings and demeanour then follow the steps I leave after this movie clip.
Here’s what I’m learning.
1. It’s my responsibility to stay focused on sharing the vision, managing what I have, and being happy in the steps gained no matter how small.
2. I can not let the minority moments overwhelm me and keep me from seeing the majority of things that are the good and great of why I got into this to begin with.
3. My boss or committee hired me to do what they could not do. I can not expect them to have the same passion that I do nor can I measure their passion through my filter.
4. I must communicate and not keep things within until I go Kraken on the people around me.
5. I need to be in community with people in my field so I can encourage them and they can encourage me when I am in a season of pain. That group will help speak truth to me about my situation or they will help me absorb what is true and wrong.
6. No matter how bad it gets and no matter how much you want to escape you must always be aware of the reality that a change only means that you are exchanging one problem for another. There is no perfect place, church, school, employer, or ministry.