I have wanted to write this post for some time now. But I have held off on doing it, because I know it is a very charged topic, I know this because I used to feel the same way about it. But I see something different now, and I feel compelled to share that. Wether that welcomes disapproval and/or outrage or not.
I have always seen bullying and the cruelty of it, as the most awful thing, I would cry and cry with sadness just to witness it. I have plenty of personal experience with it, as probably EVERY human being on the planet does. In movies, we are moved to LOATHE the “bully” character to the point where we want them to suffer horrible cruelty, or worse, want them dead.
I will preface this article by saying straight-up that I am not here to offer another “belief” about this, nor am I here to offer solutions, or claim to know I’ve got this all figured out. I am here to share my honest experience of this topic, what feels true for my heart, what I have seen in my inquiry into it – and that’s all.
I am not writing this to certify “rightness” or “wrongness”. So if you’re looking for that on this topic, this article is not for you. This is an article simply about GETTING REAL with what’s really happening here. It’s about opening our EYES and our hearts, and taking a brutally honest look. It’s about a more COMPLETE awareness, for that is the only thing that truly heals.
I was forced to take a really good look at this recently, and I’m so glad that I was, because it showed me some beautiful truths. If you have an open mind, I’d love to share them with you. Here is what I’ve seen:
1. BULLYING IS AN ACTION, NOT A PERSON.
It is a very sad affair that the label of “bully” has been turned into an identity, an inflicted title, rather than the ACTION that it is. To me, this kind of name-calling is no better than the name calling we are punishing the “bully” for. If someone calls you stupid, again and again, then you will eventually believe you are stupid — that that is just “who you are”. So what do you think happens when we call someone a bully?? Yep. They will live out that role. Bullying is an act of unconsciousness, NOT an identity. This distinction is CRUCIAL.
2. BULLYING IS A CYCLE, OF WHICH WE ALL PLAY A PART.
When we see someone bullying, saying cold and cruel and terrible things, what do we do? We say cold and cruel and terrible things about the person who is “bullying”. Even if not out-loud, in our minds we are making them into the worst kind of monster, an ENEMY, and we de-humanize them completely and we declare WAR on this person or this facet of human experience. We want them to stop the cycle of negative judgement and unkindness, and we can’t even do it ourselves! (-in regards to THEM!) They inflict pain on another, and we inflict pain on them, and where do you think they got the pain they are inflicting?? From someone else who “bullied” them. And round and round and round we go.
We think that the way to solve bullying is to make bullies feel ugly about who they are. Really?? And we think that’s going to work how??? How do YOU react when someone makes you feel ugly about who you are? Are you kinder? I didn’t think so.
3. WE’VE ALL BEEN “BULLIED”, AND WE’VE ALL BEEN A “BULLY”.
You may be tempted to jump in here and say “I’ve always been nothing but kind and loving towards people, I’ve NEVER bullied ANYONE, ever!“ But is that true? Only the truly courageous will take an honest look here. Only the ones that really want to know. And knowing is healing. So… look again, I’m sure you will find all kinds of places where you’ve been the “victim” of bullying, but where have you been the one who was less than kind? Where have you used your WILL to get someone to do what you wanted them to do? Or to try to change someone? Or to make someone else feel bad, because YOU felt bad? Were you doing it because you were a loathsome human being, or because you were simply hurt and confused at the time?? The latter is always true.
If you think those that “bully” and say cruel, and seemingly monstrous things to others, are not coming from a place of hurt and confusion — think again. It is simply NOT POSSIBLE that someone would be unkind and hurtful if they are not receiving some SERIOUS unkindness and hurt either from someone else, or from themselves, in their own mind.
And how often do we “Bully” OURSELVES??!! In our own mind! Again… we want them to stop, and we can’t stop. Not even for our own self.
4. THE CYCLE OF BULLYING BEGINS AND ENDS WITH ME.
If someone comes to me, and they’ve been accused of bullying… I have a choice.
I have a very clear and obvious choice standing in front of me, in the form of a person. I can either choose to BE LOVE, to BE THE CHANGE I want to see in the world — or not. Or I can do more of the same. I can berate them, and mentally beat them, and shame them and “bully” them until they realize the “horribleness” of their actions and join my side, until they see things MY way. This, my friends, is WAR. THIS, is what war looks like.
I will not have more war in my life.
I’ve had plenty. Plenty on the inside, and mostly with MYSELF, but I will not invite more of this cycle.
I have a choice to walk the talk, or continue the cycle. To BE the kindness that I am asking this person to be, or to be the thing that this person has been accused of being, and then ask them to stop it for both of us. Once I saw this, it seemed so crystal clear, so absolutely obvious that it STUNS me that we’ve been going about it in this way for ALL THESE YEARS.
In case we haven’t noticed yet — punishment and SHAME don’t work.
They breed more of the same.
But we are so afraid of letting go of those methods, we are so afraid that unconditional love and kindness doesn’t work, and that’s why things aren’t changing – in this area. They will continue to get worse and worse and worse until we WAKE UP to this absolute blindness. WAKE UP to a better way.
What happens when we greet unkindness with kindness?
What happens when we Love ALL THE WAY?
I don’t know, but I tell you… I’m ALL about