This is one of a series of posts I intend for my sons and their peers to read. I had difficult teen age years. Looking back, I am thinking I could have avoided a lot of heart aches if I only knew the things I know now. I cannot turn back time but I can help the teenagers of today go thru this difficult phase with a little more wisdom. It will be good if you can share this post so I can reach my intended audience.
I was bullied and I only have a few trust-worthy friends. The bullying I got affected me all thru my adult years. It was so bad, I didn’t want to have a daughter at first. I felt like the world is too rude and unsafe for girls.
Thru the years, I had to unlearn the lies I was told. I am listing here the top 3 things I learned about bullying.
Bullies are not strong, you are not a loser.
Bullies get away because they are perceived to be strong. Noone dares question what they say or do for fear of being bullied. But honestly, bullies are insecure people. Think for a moment, why would anyone resort to bullying if he is so happy and peaceful about himself? Why would anyone bother to do that?
Do not automatically believe everything that people say about you. Take it with a grain of salt. Try to answer the following questions: Is it the truth? What is his intention in saying it? Is he the expert in the topic?
It is ok not to be perfect. Noone is.
Bullying persists because the victims think they deserve to be bullied – because they are not thin enough, not flawless enough, not intelligent enough, not pretty enough and the list goes on and on.
But do you know that even celebrities struggle about being not enough?
You will never come to the point of being “enough” or “perfect”. We will always be flawed. But, we can make progress and celebrate our little successes. Do not believe the opinion of the naysayers.
My bullies told me:
Those who are attracted to Grace will get attracted even to a wood post with a skirt.
I cannot imagine anyone marrying you.
From a supposed friend: Only those who are beautiful run for student office.
Because of these, I grew up thinking that anyone who marries me would be a loser. But God, in His great mercy, caused me to experience the opposite of what my bullies told me.
I wish I can tell you that God eventually made me beautiful – as in the kind of beauty that will pass the taste of the bullies. No, God did not make me a supermodel. But God gave me a much better gift – He allowed me to experience true love – the kind of love that sees you thru and thru and loves you unconditionally – warts and all.
Sebs and I got married on 2006. No, he is not a loser. In our wedding day, our Ninong remarked that he never saw a groom as happy as Sebs. His smile was from ear to ear. My husband is a happy husband. Of course, we also have issues, but I can honestly say that he is happy with me and our kids. We are both imperfect but we choose to delight in each other as husband and wife. We are the best of friends and we support each other in every thing positive and beautiful. God used this marriage, this family to dispel the lies my bullies told me.
The power of the bully stops when you gain a healthy dose of self respect.
Yes, up to this day, I am not perfect. I never will, in this lifetime. There are still some people who look down on me. But something significant happened. The bullies are losing their grip on me.
This is mostly because I saw God’s favor in my life. I cannot continue to doubt His goodness. I have learned to trust that God is able and willing to use flawed people like us for His glory.
This truth gave me a healthy dose of self respect.
13 For you created my inmost being;Psalm 139: 13-14, NIV
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Up to this day, I still have moments when I tell God: Why will they believe me if they see me as a loser? Time and time again, God reminds me that HE
chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chooses the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Daily, we need to choose to believe the truth of God’s Word over what bullies say of us.
You owe it to yourself to fight the lies. It is so liberating to actually see the truth and live your life to the fullest. You were created in God’s image. You were designed to give glory to your creator. Life is so so beautiful once you learn to celebrate how God has made you.
I pray that you will also embrace the truths and use this to live a life free from rejections. Hear this:
You are beautiful.