My son plays soccer. Which makes me? Aghhhh!
You guessed it, a soccer mom
. I don't drive a mini-van or an SUV, I think I'll stick with my Honda Accord. Anyway...,
He just started playing last Spring and he's doing pretty well. He is finishing his first season in AYSO, and I have really enjoyed taking him to practice and attending his games. I am the perfect fan, I don't yell, surprisingly,
and I clap and say "Woo!" quite often.
I am very proud of him. He has tried really hard to keep up with the other boys. It is difficult because most of them have been playing for the last eight or nine years. After the first couple of practices, he would hop in the car happy and loving it but would look at me and say, "I shouldn't even be on this team, they all play so much better..."
I would encourage him and tell him to just watch what they do, listen to his coach and he would get better. He loved playing, so I knew he would excel. Plus, he had a terrific coach that took the time with each of his players and made sure they were enjoying themselves and learning.
There was one boy on the team, however,
that had a habit of degrading and yelling at the players every single time they had the ball at their feet. He has consistently done this since their first game. I knew it was hard on my son, mostly because he was so new to the sport. But he kept his chin up and just played on. Last night, after practice, he climbed into the car and with an excited tone, proceeded to tell me what had happened at practice. The same young man was up to his old tricks of yelling and screaming things like, "What are doing? Why are you doing that? What are you thinking?" That is until, my son decided he had had enough and told him to stop,
citing that this boy always
yelled and that it was enough, to just stop.
And, interestingly enough, he did. My thirteen-year old soccer player couldn't believe it. His request had been heard.
Sometimes, we get stuck in a contentious environment, one that is demeaning and humiliating. And often, it has been a festering situation, one that is painful and seemingly hopeless. It could be within a family or in a workplace and it may feel like you are stuck and there is nothing you can do. I think that is how my son felt. There comes a point when you hear the degradations so often that you may even begin to believe them.
Early on, during my first adult full-time job, I was a very young dental assistant when a hygienist kidnapped everyone's ego in the office and held it for ransom. She thought she had the power and the paycheck to do so, that is until she was called out. After two long years, the rest of us rebelled and decided we didn't deserve to be treated like second-class citizens, that life was too short to be ruled by a 27-year old tyrant who thought she was God's gift to the molar. She soon lost her power base and her desperate shenanigans to maintain control eventually cost her, it was mutually agreed upon that she leave - she was fired with dignity.
When our strength is questioned, when our knowledge is laughed at, when we are new to a position or circumstance, it is easy to wonder, ourselves,
if we are in the right
place, if we have made the right
choice. When I feel those questions creep in, I often say to myself, I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am learning exactly what I am supposed to be learning. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.
When the supplemental support isn't there, it can be found from within oneself. Finding the confidence to summon it is the hard part. Here's the thing,
when negativity pervades, there is plenty of unused positivity to conjure up - it can be all yours. Just make it so.