Soren’s Reflections on Bully’s

I don’t normally like to express much about my personal experiences on FB. I’m usually not one to share, however I’ve seen so much lately about bullies. So I felt compelled to write this. I don’t like bullies, I never have.

The reason I don’t tolerate bullies of any kind is because from preschool through high school I was bullied. In addition to name calling, I was physically attacked every school day. So much so that my entire elementary school years I literally ran to and from school. It was a mile and a half each way. I ran because if I rode the bus the kids hit me in the back of the head, punched me and kicked me. So I decided to run.

In one instance I ran to a substitute teacher crying and begging him to help me. Asking him to save me from the four children that were physically attacking me. As I wrapped my arms around his waist begging to be protected. These kids laughed and said it was just my birthday and they wanted to give me my spankings. He laughed, pulled away my arms and pushed me into the crowd. I was beaten, I went to the nurses office with a black eye, bloody lip, bruised stomach as well as scrapes.

The kids were not the only persons who humiliated me. Because I am proud of my Native heritage, my 5th grade teacher would ask me to stand in front of the class and she would berate and humiliate me. Saying things like, Indians are stupid, savage, ignorant, they ruined the lives of everyone around them. I finally told my mother who went to the principle. She was suspended one day, Mom also kept me home a couple days. When I returned to school, all my supplies had been stolen and all my pencils that had my name on them were broken. She asked me to stay after school and told me I was irresponsible, not worthy of life and that I was a dirty nasty person.

Even after all of the abuse, at the end of the year I helped that same teacher clean her classroom. One of the kids that beat me forgot her lunch and was sitting there without food. I sat next to her and gave her a hug, and my lunch. Another kid that deliberately hit me in the face with a ball fell and was bleeding. I took him to the nurse. 

I truly believe that I was able to survive the bullying because 1. I had faith. And 2. I never lost my humanity. Even though they did these things to me. I would pray at night that God would help them with their pain so they wouldn’t have so much anger to others. I truly believe that loving them even though it was difficult and painful was the right thing. 

Now as an adult, I have no hesitation protecting any living being that cannot protect themselves. I believe every living being deserves to live without fear. As a community we have a duty to be the anchor for these kids that are suffering everyday. Listen to them, support them, remind them that they are worthy of everything good in life. That they are exactly who they are meant to be. These kids often commit suicide or become dependent of drugs or alcohol. Give them the love and support that need without judgement, just love them. I’m grateful that my mother and other people gave me that anchor. They gave me that love. Just love. It doesn’t cost you anything, just love them.on 

Living Your Truth

We’ve all heard this somewhere.            

We’ve all read this somewhere.           

What does it mean to live your truth?            

Living your truth is about loving and empowering yourself to be intrinsically who you are. It doesn’t matter what community you are a part of or who you identify with. It’s about being human. Many of us get caught in our religious beliefs. The failure of religion is our human interpretation. We receive the information and react to it based on the rose colored lenses of our lives. The information is filtered through our own hurts, grief, pain heartache and biases we’ve learned. I’ve heard this before, “Love the sinner hate the sin.” This is an excuse to be judgmental. Love is love. Love makes no demands of us. Love expects nothing from us. It just is. It’s the natural language of the heart.            

Living your truth means loving yourself enough to break the chains society has placed you in. All of the lies we’ve heard and told to ourselves. It’s not easy, and takes a lot of courage for people to live their truth. Just because you may not understand, or you fear what you see does not mean that they are wrong, that they are weirdos or freaks. They are human just like you. They are capable of the same love, hurt, and pains and fear that you are.           

I see so many people shielding themselves against judgment that they face from others. They hang their heads and scurry by, doing their best not to make eye contact. It hurts me deeply that they live in such fear. We cannot expect the world to be loving toward us if we are not loving toward others. Everything…everything we put out into the world in our thoughts and actions comes back to us. We have only this life, encourage others to live their truth, the world is much better and richer for it.           

Part of living your truth is loving yourself. So many of us think that we love ourselves through our quest for material goods, living your truth is very much the opposite. Loving yourself is looking at yourself, seeing every good and bad within you and embracing it with love and acceptance. I always encourage people to ask themselves, why this person or situation is so fearful or uncomfortable for them. Most of the time we are uncomfortable because there is something inside us that we do not want to accept or face. That’s okay, because we are all in different places of growth. But grow. Never stop, face those fears and love yourself. Truly love yourself.

Our differences are our virtues and our love is our faith. Push your ego aside and see the world through the love in your heart. See past the physical attributes of each person and see the human, the soul, the good in each of us. We were born to love, we learn to hate.           
– Soren Thoreau