Loving through disappointment

“Oh James, I am so disappointed in you” said his father. We are eavesdropping a scene between father and son. We don’t know what James has done but we do know that his father is disappointed.

I reckon most of us whether as a child or as a parent have heard or spoken these words. Words that are usually accompanied by a heavy sigh not spoken in anger but in sadness. “I am so disappointed in you.”

It’s one of the facts of life that whether we like it or not we are to a lesser or greater extent motivated by our relationship with our parents.

Even the child who grows up separated from their parent imagines what they might be like and how they might please them.

Even the child who grows up in an unhappy home will often promise themselves that the home they fashion for their partner and family will be nothing like the experience they have had.

And those of us fortunate enough to have had nurturing family homes all pick messages often as children, spoken and unspoken for good or for bad that shape the people we are. Amongst them those words with which I began “I am so disappointed in you.”

But why take this step into the world of therapy. Well, it’s because I have been thinking of that first reading about the death of Absalom.

It’s a strange tale, at least when heard in isolation. So let me unpack it a little.

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