At our first elementary RE class this year, I introduced the group’s mascot, a dragon puppet. Unfortunately, the dragon puppet refused todragon 36748 340 come on the screen. They were having a crisis about their own worth and dignity. The students quickly jumped in to affirm the dragon’s worth and dignity, encouraging them, sharing stories of feeling shy themselves, and letting the dragon know that they matter. I wasn’t expecting such an outpouring of empathy and kindness and it was so heartwarming! This month, the worship theme is emotional intelligence and the students are already demonstrating it. 

For many, this is a particularly charged emotional time and it can be hard to sit with difficult emotions. As the adults in children’s lives, we can help kids by being curious about their feelings, asking questions, answering questions honestly, and providing space for a child to feel what they are feeling without judgement. This isn’t easy! I always want to fix things and make them better. It is hard to see people struggling and to realize that we are powerless. This is a time when it is so clear that we can’t fix everything or make it go away. It can be hard to have empathy for others when we don't have the time or space to care for ourselves.

How can we learn to sit with the difficult emotions and trust that we will make it through? How can we care for the dragons inside us?

“Do you have the patience to wait until the mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” -Lao Tzu