BULLIES

They think they’re so clever and believe that no one is aware of what they’re doing. I am here to tell you, bullies, that I know EXACTLY what you’re doing. Do not mistake my silence for ignorance… or weakness!!!

When we talk about bullies, most often what we imagine are children on the playground. However, kids grow up and when they grow up a bully, they become dangerous. They’ve tasted the power and they like it. They want to be top dog and they’re always prepared for battle. The distress of their victims serves as fuel for their demented idea of fun.

It’s amazing how many games are played on a daily basis. A person with this defect will only become worse over time. They don’t improve just because they get older. Age has absolutely nothing to do with the behavior. In fact, they hone their skills over time. These people are opportunists and are ready to pounce on easy prey.

I am no longer prey. I will not spend another moment fearing a coward, because that is what a bully is underneath the surface. I will not seek vengeance as that belongs to God. Instead, I will live my best life and be happy… I will SHINE!!!

 

 

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DIFFERENCES

I deleted a post on Facebook that I wrote earlier. I related that my dog became very excited when I spoke to him in Spanish. I commented that maybe his first owner, as he’s adopted, was Latino. “LOL” I kept thinking about it and thought that, in hindsight, perhaps it was offensive.

Politically correct (or incorrect) is definitely a hot topic. I’ve made myself cringe a time or two hearing my own words fall out of my mouth without forethought. As much as I would like to believe that receiving ears understood my intent, I’m immediately sorry. Silence doesn’t equal forgiveness and I often wonder what the other person is thinking.

Navigating language is becoming more and more challenging. I love words and can spend hours thinking about what they mean and how they sound. I can get caught up expressing myself and editing may momentarily go by the wayside. I welcome peaceful discussion on the subject so that we can understand one another better. However, what I see in the world is a cat-like reflex to any perceived insult.

I have been personally affected by the use of language. My heart has repaired itself many times from damaging words. I understand the destruction that can be done with a single sentence. Yet, we’re living in a world where our own leaders freely verbally attack others and scold the rest of us for being upset. When will we all just get along?

 

 

INDEPENDENCE

I find myself spending a great deal of time reflecting on my life. There’s a celebration of independence Tuesday and it struck me how important this is to me. After almost fifty years, I finally have it.

Life still seems a bit surreal sometimes, but now it’s in a good way. The light at the end of the tunnel is shining so brightly it’s almost blinding. My soul is resting and my heart is open. Instead of scurrying about, I’m gliding. I feel lighter. I’m going to be okay.

In 1776, the writer Thomas Paine published a pamphlet titled, “Common Sense”. It’s well worth reading. Personally, I would love if everyone took a moment to think about what July 4th really means. It’s not about the BBQ’s and pool parties. It’s a mindset that sets us all free. It’s about appreciating those who fight for our right to speak and make our own choices. I believe the best way to celebrate what others have done for us, is to live an independent and joyful life. Happy Fourth of July!!!

 

INSPIRATION

This morning I watched a piece on Georgia Congressman John Lewis. The tears ran down my cheeks and I thought about how blessed I am. Listening to the words of this great man was awakening.

I have let fear stop me for far too long. How can I possibly stand up for the rights of others if I’m afraid to speak? What could possibly be said about me that hasn’t already been said? John Lewis was beaten and arrested for speaking his truth and he lived to tell his story. If he can do it, so can I.

I’m tired of the injustice in this world. The loudest one in the room is not the smartest or the strongest. I’m more interested in the one who isn’t talking. They are the ones who have the most to say. They observe everything around them and quietly take notes. If you want the true temperature of a room, have a conversation with that person.

I want to see more people stand up to bullies. Eradicating schoolyard behavior is first on my list. Although it appears that the issue is being addressed, the problem continues to grow worse. It’s not happening in some far part of the world. It’s happening in our own backyards. Yet, it continues.

My dream is for every child to go to school free of fear. Kids are encouraged and differences are celebrated! Success is within everyone’s reach. I don’t expect to change the world, but maybe I can help one person. Perhaps this blog post will inspire another to do the same. That is my dream!!!

SUPPORT

Life is challenging and difficult. How a person gets through those times can depend on their support system. You may be physically alone, but surrounded by help. Just knowing someone is on your side can make all the difference.

It’s amazing what one can endure when another stands in solidarity. Just being encouraged to be strong can make you feel that you are. It’s soothing and hopeful. Fear subsides and you keep moving forward.

We all need a little help from time to time. The world is going to throw curve balls and having someone’s back can alter the course. We’re all in this together, so let’s extend a hand and help each other up!

 

GOSSIP

Gossip is destructive. The damage it does may not be visible to the naked eye, but believe me when I tell you that it is damaging. It can not only shake a persons confidence, it can destroy their self-worth. It creates a pack mentality that is relentless. It doesn’t matter what stage of life we’re in, it seems to surround us.

What is the point of the chatter? Is there a false pretense of help in the rumor? If there is legitimate concern regarding a situation, the obvious choice seems to be that one would go to the person directly affected. You can’t help someone if you’re talking to everyone but them. If this is the case, then what is the motive behind the message?

What about cruel intention? It’s like the game of telephone. One person, for whatever reason, makes a choice to spread venom via a party line. The person on the receiving end has a sudden urge to call someone else. Since facts aren’t what’s important in this conversation, the story will likely be even more salacious to the next caller. The ringing phones continue.

Genuine concern is not spreading information you know will hurt another person, period! It doesn’t matter if it’s true or false. A person who is honestly worried about someone’s well-being is not going to knowingly inflict pain in the form of gossip. I would love to see this form of entertainment end. Maybe some day it will.

WORDS

Growing up we hear the old saying about sticks and stones. Words aren’t supposed to hurt us. The truth is, words DO hurt us and they cause damage. The affects are compounded with repetition. When you’re told repeatedly something about yourself, you start to believe it. The fact that it simply isn’t true, doesn’t even register. Especially, when the person making the comments is the one you love the most.

We’re all guilty at some point of throwing words around carelessly. There isn’t malicious intent behind them, but they still hurt. Some become acceptable that shouldn’t even be part of our language. Others have even divided groups of people. Words are powerful.

Words can become weapons. They’re easily hurled anytime and anywhere. They can be easily transported through time and space. There is not a security check before you into the room. “Think before you speak” is another old saying. I often wonder why that one isn’t as popular.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how nicer the world would be if we only used encouraging words. Imagine phrasing things in a way that makes a negative sound positive. Constructive criticism is actually practiced and everyone feels good about themselves. What a wonderful world that would be!!!

SELF-DISCOVERY

I’m realizing more and more how my daily decisions revolved around someone else. Every choice I make reminds me of just how much. I hate that sinking feeling that comes with knowing I walked away from something I wanted because another person would not have approved. Simple things like grocery shopping suddenly become another life lesson.

Yesterday, I stood in the store trying to make a decision over lunch meat. It took me a minute to realize that I was looking for what he wanted. I felt the twisting in my stomach and I thought, “Why do I keep doing that?”. I selected what I like to eat and even giggled to myself when I saw my item was actually cheaper. When you’ve been told countless times that you spend too much at Walmart, a moment like this is especially funny.

I took very little from our home. Clothes, books and music were pretty much all I wanted from that house. I didn’t want constant reminders of a life that no longer existed. I needed a fresh start. There was definitely anxiety prior to actually receiving my property. It took months before a moving van actually made the delivery. During the wait, I tortured myself over thoughts of boxes filled with destruction. Tears flowed as I unpacked. Of course he kept things that he knew I wanted and I should’ve expected that, but it still made me sad. I didn’t plan on the cruel notes he attached to various things. Oddly enough, it was more of the same that propelled me forward once again.

Slowly, I’ve been discovering what I really like, what makes me happy. My sanctuary is no longer designed around a man. If I want a “frilly” bedroom, then that’s exactly the look I’ll create. If I want a tiny lamp on the kitchen counter, that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with a furry pillow that props up my latest crochet project. I have the power to make my world beautiful. This is ME!!!

BLESSED

I read something recently about how one day it just suddenly gets better. I had that day yesterday. The feeling is hard to describe, but you’ll know when it happens. It’s almost tangible; you feel it deep inside your soul. You’ll be putting clean linens on the bed when you become aware that something is different. You feel lighter.

I’m not fooling myself into believing there won’t be obstacles or challenges. Neither do I think that my healing is done. If I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that I will continue to grow. I’m ever evolving as a human being as we all should. Bad days will come, but they will also go. Triggers will be dealt with promptly and I’ll move fluidly through my day. I’ll embrace all the emotions that make me who I am. My feelings aren’t shameful; they’re the reason I’m able to help others.

My journey continues and I’m looking forward to my future. I’ll do my best to ride the waves as gracefully as I can. In the meantime, my words will pour out onto a page that allows me to put life into perspective. I’m blessed and I WILL survive!!!

ISOLATION

Last night I decided to take my neighbors up on their offer of a visit. We chatted in the backyard and watched our dogs play. I have to admit it was an emotional evening. I can’t remember the last time I actually socialized. It wasn’t a therapy session or a support group, just people chatting the night away.

Today I was exhausted. I’m proud of myself for taking another step forward, but it was draining. I’m afraid to let people in, but I know I have to learn to trust. I don’t know when I’ll feel that brave again and that’s okay. I’m continuing to move forward.

I’m a person that requires alone time. Sometimes a lot of it. If I simply need time to recharge, fine. However, staying inside and hiding from the world out of fear isn’t healthy. Right now I have to force myself to interact, but I hope that changes in the future.