Discipling the Body

The Right Side of Wrong: The Value of Struggle

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Adults have a problem. We learned it way back in adolescence. Actually, I think we learn it long before that. We hate being wrong. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. Don’t tell them we were wrong. We had an idea. We tried it and we failed. Failure. It sucks, eh? We must be some kind of dolt for failing. I mean, no one else fails, right? Failure is like this private club that everyone belongs too, but we all own our own clubs.

My son is 17-months old. He fails all the time. He certainly isn’t a failure. Learning to walk is hard, yo! My son however spends a lot of time learning how to stand up and find his balance. Then he falls or sits down and he tries again. This is called practice. I hate practicing. I don’t see myself getting better, because improvement usually come in increments so small, we can’t see them until we hit a milestone on the way.

My son hit one of those milestones today. He stood up and fell down, then stood up again. Then, he took 3 steps towards his mom. It was amazing. The video is above.

Did my son get frustrated if he couldn’t maintain his balance sometimes, sure, he’s human too. He keeps trying though and he doesn’t really need our help to do it. What he needs from us is encouragement, support, and healthy (safe) boundaries. He’ll figure out the walking thing on his own, he doesn’t need us interfering or telling him he failed, so he may as well give up.

If you have a skill you’re trying to master, give it time. Yes, you’re trying to get to the right “answer”, but we do a disservice if we don’t honour the struggle and attempts. If you finally decide it’s just not for you, there’s nothing wrong with moving on to something else. Just remember to take sometime and reflect back on what you’ve learned from the learning/trying process. There’s always something you can learn about yourself and how you persevere.

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