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When I was much younger than I am now, I was bullied and harassed by a group of boys in my neighborhood. Not only did they poke fun at me, but as we grew older the mean comments and cruel remarks would turn to physical attacks like stealing my favorite bike, teasing me about it and throwing crab apples at me over the fence. (crab apples really hurt by the way)
Back then, my only response to this behavior was to run away crying (when I could) and feel sorry for myself. I spent many years thinking that there was something wrong with me and my personality and that if I could only fix it...DUH.
As I grew older and became a mother, I learned that bullying is more the problem belonging to the person who is doing the bullying and not the person on the receiving end. I made sure to teach my children that bullying behavior would not be tolerated and taught them instead how to be empathetic to others. My spiritually driven adult self had found balance.
I've learned many life lessons since then and have gone on to receive my doctorate in natural medicine and have made quite a name for myself as an intuitive hypnotherapist - mainly helping others to release the parasitic crap of the mind that kills dreams and self esteem.
Life is good - I think to myself. OR IS IT???
I recently moved to a new state with my husband. It is so amazingly beautiful here...we are closer to friends that are closer to our own age and it is nice. Not to long after we arrived and while having a nice get together, one of the friends (whom I've known for awhile now, but just haven't spent a lot of time with) announces with much pride that they are a bully and that there are basically two types of people in the world...those who bully and those who get bullied. The world just needed to accept that.
hmm...I ponder to myself. I would have never pegged this person as a bully - knowing the troubles of their past and shrugged it off thinking that being an adult bully surely cannot be as bad as the childhood rivals I had to contend with in school.
Since that conversation, I have witnessed numerous occasions where this person has verbally chastised others (including myself) in public, talk down to the very people who are loving and nurturing to them and even witnessed this behavior once towards a child!!!
It's mean...it's abrasive and NO-ONE says a damn thing when it's going on. My stomach begins to churn inside by the fact that this persons behavior is just tolerated. Well, ehem - not no one...I have spoken up with a brisk tongue to this person on a couple of occasions. I have to say it for sure falls on deaf ears and sometimes is countered with words like: "well if you weren't such an asshole" or "Hey, it's not my problem if you are offended by me...most people are"
The human in me wants to send this person a great big ass kicking that is probably long overdue. Hopefully to knock them back into the reality of.."UM, HELLO IDIOT, these are your friends!!!"
The intuitive, spiritual, SUPER SMART person in me sees a broken individual. (an extremely broken individual). is this person fixable? probably not - and even if so...not my battle to fight.
My point is that after much thought and consideration, I choose to continue to embrace this person as my friend and to be the better person in times of chaos. I no longer run away from bully's with my tail between my legs thinking that there is a flaw with me. I instead look closer at them.
I also now choose to see myself for who I really am and let the bully have no power over me. And I am hopeful that maybe someday they will truly see what they are doing to others and want to change it.
What would you do in a similar situation?