How do we respond to those whom we feel have wronged us?
I recently read some wise words that I’d like to share with all of you: “as you care less about what others think of you, you will care more about what others think of themselves and their worlds, including their relationship with you. You’ll no longer build your emotional life on other people’s weaknesses. In addition, you’ll find it easier and more desirable to change because there is something—some core deep within—that is essentially changeless.”
This made me think back to my experience of being bullied. It was one of the toughest things I’ve had to endure, but it has allowed me to see how love is present even when we feel that it has left us. I had people to lean on when life felt unbearable. Love was there from my family, friends, and activities which I loved, such as singing or volunteering. While there are people who push you down, there are also those who will unconditionally love you. Our response to care for one another is how we make the community stronger.
Today, I recall my bullies and I feel so sorry that they held so much anger inside of their hearts. This anger that manifested into bullying must have been such a heavy load to carry. I think that what we pick apart about others must be what we criticize ourselves for as well. I only got my bullies for the school day, but they had to live with this fault-finding voice within them when they went home. I hope that they all found their peace.
We cannot control how others act toward us, but we can decide on our reaction. After being bullied, I decided to do what I could to ensure that school was a better place in which friendship and community could be fostered. I volunteered, sat with those that were alone at lunch, and eventually, I helped run the school student council to hold many events such as dances, where I hoped the fun experiences could help people meet and become friends.
As with all things, we should treat others with empathy. When someone has wronged you, utilize what is in your immediate circle of influence in order to respond. Read the reality to not only see what you’d like to happen, but also what needs to happen. What outcome optimally benefits everyone in the ways they need?
Many small acts set with the intent to help do add up. Trust that you are guided as you give your best for, with the right mindset, the right doors will open in due time.
This Valentine’s day, let us focus on what we can be for both ourselves and others. Let us be less judgmental of others, and instead, use our analytical skills to decide how we can best help those in troubling circumstances. Let us boast less about our accomplishments and, rather, share our skills with those in need to make the best use of them. Replace saying “I have to” in life, and begin your sentences with “I get to,” instead.
At your core, you are capable of so much love, which impacts others in more positive ways than we can often imagine. True and sincere love is the core which remains unshaken.