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Friday, January 07, 2011

What you can do about Bullies

Bullying is one of the terrible, difficult things about life.  That's why you don't see any adults wishing they could go back in time to when they were teenagers when bullying is the worst. But bullying is not limited to young adults; anyone can experience the terror of a bully.  The first thing to know is that "This too shall pass". That may not help so much in the moment it's happening, but this situation will change.

Understand that you do not have to continue to endure terrible suffering from a bully.  Life will always have its challenges. Life, with all it’s good and hard parts will never be the fairytale fantasy, and that said, you can change suffering by changing yourself on the inside and/or changing your environment on the outside. Here is what I have to offer, but if you cannot do this on your own, please, please, ask for help. It’s OK to ask for help.

The next thing to know is that people who bully or do mean things are people who are in pain.  Nobody who feels good about him or her self could be cruel. No matter what they say, they can't feel good hurting others; it's a counterfeit attempt at trying to feel better about themselves. You know that “you can’t be taller by stepping on someone else.” Bullies havn’t figured that out.

A friend of mine went to her high school reunion and a woman came running up to her to hug her. My friend backed away and said, "Why are you so happy to see me? You were the meanest bully and you were so cruel to me!" The other woman said, "I wanted to see you so I could apologize. I was being abused at home and I took it out on you. I'm so sorry." Can you imagine? After 20 years!!

Here are a few of the basic tips for dealing with bullies:
  • Avoid the bully if you can
  • Ignore the bully
  • Stand tall in who you are (Thank God you're not her!)
  • Be sure that if there is a dangerous behavior that you ask for help until you get the help you need

Here are some tools you can experiment with, any one of them could bring you the change you want or try them all:

One wonderful and comforting thing to do is to picture yourself in bubble of light, what ever color brings you comfort. See all the angels that are around you at your service to comfort and protect and heal you. There is a place within you—the truest essence of who you are—that no one, I mean NO one, can touch, no matter what. The essence of you is always protected and pure. The essence of you holds its value no matter what else happens. You are filled, surrounded and protected by love in every moment, whether you are aware of it or not. You can plug into the awareness and receive the comfort any time you want.

An inner process that is very powerful is to “return what isn’t yours.” If you go to a store and they sold you something that you didn’t want or is broken, you can return it to the store. If you get a gift that you don’t like, you can give it away or toss it in the trash.  Think of the mean things people say as spam, put it into the spam box and “Delete forever.” Here’s one way you can do that:
  • Imagine that you could go into your heart where all the hurts are stored.  (Cruelty, insults, mean looks, even abuse, anything that ever hurt you!)
  • Imagine what those hurts look like.
  • Now imagine that you give all those hurts back to the people to gave them to you in the first place! It’s their problem to deal with it, not yours. Take your time with this one. Give them back in your mind’s eye and in your heart’s feelings until your heart is clear and clean.

Another very gentle yet powerful action you can take is to pray! Talk with God and ask for the bullying to stop. Ask for help so that you can respond in a strong and good way.  (Stay awake to the different forms for the way that help can arrive.) Ask for an outcome that includes peace inside and out. Be as detailed as you can about the outcome you want and the feelings you want to feel. Then know that there are wonderful possibilities that exist to get you there that you haven’t even thought of.

This next idea may be the hardest thing of all that I am suggesting but it is also very powerful! Here’s where I’ve written about it in detail (I’m already writing a book here!)
If any of this is helpful, here are some more things from my heart to yours.

Now, there is one more thing I want to share with you. Every difficult experience comes with a lesson and a gift. I can’t say what it is for sure though helping you grow stronger in your own compassion is something a lot of people get out of these kinds of situations. You may not recognize the gift in this for years, but it’s there for sure. Everything that you experience is preparation for the life you will build for yourself in your future. You can probably understand that to some degree if you look at your life from when you were younger. Being awake to the gifts and lessons make all of life even more meaningful.

Hang in there. You’re not alone.
Aunt Laya

P.S. Dear Bullies who read this: You can ask for help too! All the tools above are available for your growth, too. You can do this!

Thank you to and Matthew Hull for the great photo.


Laya said...

Here is an amazing article with a sad story and good information for parents about bullying:

Laya said...

Here's the link to a website that will give kids and parents many resources on this topic:

Bridget said...

Just found your blog it is delightful, warm and inviting. Thank you for such words of beauty. In grad school and have work to do but just wanted to send you a word of thanks. Have a glorious day.


Laya said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment Bree. I enjoyed visiting your blog too. All the best!

Kim Tennant said...

Thank you for your insightful words. Bullying has become a problem for so many on so many levels. I just finished a great book by John Dozier and Sue Scheff called Google Bomb. It explains how people's lives and businesses can be destroyed on line by cyber bullying.