Tuesday, July 30, 2013

" Bully ... "

She takes the long way home
Fighting her emotions
She's a loner but tonight
She won't go unnoticed
If she can't remember when
She loses her temper
Nobody knows her but tonight
The silence is over ...

Blame the family
Blame the bully
Blame it on me

~ Three Days Grace ~ Bully ~ 

I’ve heard the expression “hurt people hurt people” but I really didn’t understand it until recently.  Hurt people’s behaviour is rooted into their own emotional wounds and can turn them into bullies.

You see, a hurt person or bully, pretends to be a victim in order to manipulate others.  They gain the compliance of other nave, compassionate people.  They exaggerate their pain, suffering and impact of others on them.  They replay their pain and never seem to get over things.  They say they are tired of doing all the compromising and suggest others are always ganging up on them.  They do all this because they hurt and so they want others to hurt. 

I suspect if we are honest with ourselves, most of us can identify moments when we acted thoughtlessly from a place of sorrow or anger.  Most of us have felt pain burning like a hot coal in our hands, and felt desperate to unload it, somehow, somewhere.  We have a right to set boundaries and communicate when something is not okay. But the world is a better place when we choose to do that from a place of love and compassion, instead of righteousness and judgment.  

Often we don’t mean to hurt each other ... we just don’t know how to stop hurting ourselves.  So how do we help hurt people and prevent the cycle from repeating itself?

The best way is not to just ignore the offense and silently hold a grudge, or to pretend the offense never happened because neither of those help heal the offender.  Rather it can be seen as a passive-aggressive way of condoning hurtful behaviour.  So instead, making the effort to aid in the healing of that person could enrich their life, and prepare them to be a healthier contributor for the future.

The irony is that what they need the most is LOVE ...

Personally, what I am learning is to first allow myself the grace to know that however the offense made me feel, that my reaction is perfectly okay.  Feeling hurt is good rather than suppressing my emotions.  I need to give my emotions freedom to exist and instead of trying to fix the situation while it is still raw.

Next is forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness ... and this takes time.  I realized that when I was ready to open my heart to forgiveness, miracles follow.  And forgiveness is not conditional on the offender’s willingness to make amends.  For me, this was HUGE because forgiveness is NOT two ways or a trade.  They owe me nothing because forgiving someone doesn’t let them off the hook but off of my hook.  So accept the apology you never got.

As time has passed, I have been able to look at hurtful situations and figure out why, specifically, these offenses were so hurtful.  It is important that I can explain how the other person’s words or actions affected me.  This helps me establish boundaries and hopefully prevent it from happening again.  

And probably the most important lesson learned is to release the situation.  Just as the offender owes me nothing, I owe them nothing.  I decide if they will be allowed back in my life.  They decide if they want to heal themselves.  My only responsibility is to take care of me and remove myself from the situation entirely if I so desire.

I was the type of person who allowed herself to be hurt over and over again, because I was too afraid to upset the offender to risk pushing for healing.  I have learned along the way that I can’t sacrifice my emotional health so that someone else doesn’t have to bear the responsibility of their behaviour.  

It takes understanding that even with the relationships we value the most, we might just be one small brick in the path to that person’s restoration, and never actually see the person fully restored and emotionally healthy.  Healing needs to happen ... and it is important for each of us to do our part, regardless of whether or not we get to see the healing through to it end. 

There is a huge amount of freedom that comes 
to you when you take nothing personally ~Don Miguel Ruiz 

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