Successes teach you what you’re capable of doing and give you confidence. However, your failures often teach greater lessons. They reveal wrong assumptions, character flaws, errors in judgement, and poor working methods.
Law # 4, Navigation
Law #19, Timing
Ok, so I thought I slid through 2nd grade without any major lessons relating to how my Leadership skills did and did not develop well. Well, the memories have crept into consciousness since that bold statement and show it to be false.
The biggest yucky thing that happened was so shameful its hard to admit and even though I did spiritual work to clear this years ago, I guess something in it is now being revealed and seems to have surfaced as the string of a theme appears to be emerging day to day as I do my homeplay of a blog a day. Exciting to see what will be at the end of the string.
I began my second grade enthusiastic to have a new chance at life in the classroom as a model student. Miss or Mrs. Marsh or Marshburn–hard to remember- was my lay teacher. She was ever so sweet and easy but I really wanted to get to third grade where the very cool Mrs. Carter was the teacher. She was currently teaching my twin brothers and I think she had taught Wendy for the first part of her fourth grade. In any case, she knew the family of kids, was ever so supportive and interested. I couldn’t wait to be in her class next year. The year unfolded uneventfully, aside from some snotty little brat of girl in my brothers’ class who decided she didn’t like me. I felt very picked on by her at recess. She made faces at me, stuck her tongue out at me, and other horrible things that hurt me deeply, especially since I was on a path to sainthood now. I never understood why. I never told anyone about it. I just ached inside until I got so mad that I decided to get revenge!!! I decided to boldly take aggressive action at the next opportunity. Well, it came one day as I got to walk down the hallway to deliver a note to the office on behalf of my teacher–yes I had evolved from teacher’s pest to teacher’s pet. (see blog 2 days ago, if you missed the pest part!)
As I proudly strolled down the pathway to deliver the note, I saw the open rear door of Mrs. Carter’s classroom and THAT GIRL was sitting near to it. Ah ha!!!! what a perfect opportunity to get even with her. She looked at me and I stuck my tongue out at her in my nastiest possible way! So there! oooooooo- and here is the law of timing…..
so there I am in a sudden time warp-tongue frozen, wagging viciously, as Mrs. Carter appears behind that girl-I look up-and I see her sweet smile to me curdle into horror when she sees me sticking my tongue out at her. I was shocked, mortified, humiliated, remorseful, ashamed and speechless. It wasn’t meant for her. I would never do that to her. I loved her. I admired her. She cared for me. She inspired me to be good.
I turned and went on to deliver the note and never said or did a thing about it. I felt helpless. Like in first grade, to explain my objection for refusing to accept discipline on a day when I had shown self discipline was to admit on most days I was naughty. To tell Mrs. Carter that I was intending to be viciously mean to a student, and not to her, was beyond this seven year old’s ability.
My mother sat me down several days later and asked me what Mrs. Carter had done to hurt my feelings. I imagine Mrs. Carter’s heart must have hurt so sadly that she called my mom to find out why this little girl she adored was suddenly so vicious to her. All I could say was that I didn’t mean to stick my tongue at her. That I loved her and I didn’t want her feelings to be hurt. I never could explain that I had allowed the criticism and judgement of a peer to activate such bad behavior in me. I had not navigated a proper course of action to deal with the problem. By combining poor navigation with Timing at it’s worst, I lead myself into deep failure. I still had not learned to speak up when I was bullied. It would take many more years, and many more periods of reflection to shift that fear to light.
I did get a good lesson about the concept of revenge and about the possibility that I might have misunderstood things that I thought were directed to me.
Does anyone there know Mrs. Carter? If so, send her my love, apologies, gratitude and a copy of this so she’ll know what really happened. Thanks to all the Mrs. Carters who have inspired children and who have been hurt when giving so openly. Please don’t stop loving them!