There is a subtle art of knowing when to stand up for ourselves, others and what is right and when to accept and move on. Knowing this and how to do it well can lead to powerful insights and transformations.
As a child I was bullied. Not all the time, and perhaps not as bad as others.
However it did leave a lasting impression on me. I shut down. I shut down from the external pressures and avoided conflict by no longer being present in my feelings or emotions.
As an adult, I have gradually been coming to terms with this withdrawal and have come to recognise something in myself that drew me back, time and again to these same experiences of being bullied, whether it was as a child or in adult relationships.
You see, although I made big changes to my life in the way I lived on the outside, in a sense it wasn’t until I began to go inward that real change began to happen.
You may be wondering, how do we do this?
It begins with acceptance. Connecting, listening to yourself.
I was not OK, I was angry, frustrated, defensive, hurt.
What I thought was forgiveness was actually avoiding how I actually felt.
Time and again I’d tried to change but the universe kept just bringing me back to the same situation.
On the surface, this hurt didn’t show, because my life was avoidance, through drugs, entertainment or simply being disconnected.
Then, as I begin to sit with myself, to use my Meditation and Qigong practices, or to just observe myself more honestly and recognise these past hurts, a beautiful thing happened.
I began to love myself.
The love began to transform my deeper repressed feelings and fears, and other people stopped having such a triggering effect on me. In a sense, their hurt, or their words and actions, couldn’t trigger my hurt because my hurt just wasn’t there, at least not as much.
Perhaps this is something you have an experience of?
When we change, the whole world, changes with us, at least the parts of the world connected directly to us anyhow. ( And is there really a part of the whole that we are not connected to?).
Amazingly the people in my life who I had these cause and effect relationships with, either began to move out of my life or to transform with me.
It is a beautiful experience and one I treasure, to suddenly see that life can change. It gives a deep sense of hope, and in a world where there is so much greed, so much suffering, it is a hope, an inner knowing, that doesn’t leave.
In your life, is there something or someone that upsets you? Hurt so deep, you dare not look? It may be big, but then again, it may be small, like the monster under the bed that you dare not look at but disappears when you do.
Be honest with yourself. Accept yourself fully, even your hurt, even your anger.
Stand up for yourself, know in your heart of hearts, that you deserve to love yourself, be loved and be treated with respect by others. Know that others deserve to be respected, including the earth, nature and animals that are on it.
Know that it is OK to feel this hurt.
Know though, that there is something beyond the hurt.
Beyond the hurt is love, a deep kindness, an empathy. It is beautiful, quiet and simple, it comes from looking inward.
When you see yourself, love yourself fully then it can begin to expand and, at least in my experience can eventually include everyone and everything in the universe.
I know some people have been hurt beyond belief. Probably even beyond what is fair. I know some people are cruel and unkind, and that the world needs to change. Soon.
But I also know, have had a wonderfully intimate, personal experience of, the power that is unleashed when we change ourselves.
I know too, that this power resides in each of us, and with effort can be brought out.
This is how we defeat the bullies in our lives, yes, by standing up for ourselves and others when things are not as they should be.
But, more importantly beyond this is the work of healing, loving and transforming the deep hurts and scars on the inside that stop us from fully experiencing our true potential and a deeper connection to who we truly are.
Kia Kaha, Jay
About Jay Glubb
Jay is a Moving Mindfulness ( Yuan Qigong) and Ren Xue teacher, starting his training in 2006. He is passionate about helping others experience personal transformation though classes, workshops and one on one sessions, in person and online.
Jay lives in Dunedin and travels when he can. You are on his website.