Perspective on Bullying | Diane Viola
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Perspective on Bullying

What causes the pain we feel when someone taunts or abuses or mistreats us, is not only the physical or verbal act itself, but the impact it has on our psyche and emotions; because in some way we ‘take on’ their opinion of us as real, or give to them the permission to decide how we think and feel about ourselves. What begins as an error in perception on their part – because they fail to see the beauty in another – becomes a seed within our Soul that continues to distort our own ideas of who and what we are. In our innocence – particularly when we are very young – and in our need to belong and be a part of the ‘tribe’, we may have no way of discerning the difference between their illusion and our reality or truth.

What may start as a need to protect or defend our self or our truth about who and what we are – which as a ‘Child of the Universe’ we should never have to do – and which hurts as much or more than the original mis-deed, can at times grow into a fear that we might actually deserve to be treated this way or that we will never escape it. Sometimes the person doing the bullying has intuitively or unconsciously picked up on an insecurity or vulnerability within the person they’re targeting – a fear or doubt about their worth or value or beauty – which they ‘plug into’ and, eliciting a response, choose to continue to do. And so the perpetrator displaces their own insecurities and false thinking about themselves and foists it on another.

Anyone who finds pleasure in causing pain for another cannot possibly be in touch with who they really are. When we ‘allow’ another to have ‘power over’ us – and I don’t mean their actions – but over our Soul or how we feel about ourselves; we are taking on their pain, something which doesn’t belong to us and in effect ‘robbing’ them of what is their responsibility – whether they choose to accept it or not – which is to face their own pain. Someone who sets themselves up as bigger or better than another or above recrimination, has effectively ‘outcast’ themselves; denied themselves a place in the hearts of men and women and may have to continue to act in that way to ‘belong’ somewhere. This is why labelling someone as a bully rather than identifying their behaviour as distinct from who they are, almost guarantees that they will continue to behave that way.

The place that bullying, abuse, exclusion, or any form of mental, physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual violence most needs to be healed is in the Soul. When the mind can no longer make sense or find a way to deal with this and the heart has long been broken, it is the Soul that needs to hear the words and feel the shift in perception that will return it to wholeness.

It is then that we can firstly leave it with another (the perpetrator) and reclaim our sense of self and personal power and perhaps even in time come to see their ‘innocence’ or ignorance as well. When we are restored to our own truth about ourselves, and that truth is loving and strong, then there will no longer be room for another to wound that. And even if momentarily we forget and falter, it will take less effort to come back to ourselves. Our job as fellow human beings is to remember who we are and to remind one another of this.

BLOG | February 16, 2013

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