BULLIED?I was bullied. Odds are anyone reading this has been bullied.
Yet, it didn't break me. (Did it break you? I hope not!)
What it did was toughen me up. It takes a lot of pressure to make a diamond, right?
I know there were days I felt isolated and alone.
Certainly, that little "note" that kids passed around, autographed, then promptly handed to me that said, "Michelle is a BiT*#" didn't make my middle school years grand.
Oddly enough, I didn't cry when I read those signatures below that statement.
I thought, "You think I am one? Ok, I'll show you."
I marched up to my teacher and told her I was leaving to go see the principal. It was very unlike me to do anything like that. I was typically one to ask for permission. I was not one to TELL an adult what I was doing.
I marched into Mr. H.D. Goldner's office without an appointment and showed it to him without a tear in my eye. After all, would a "B" cry over such things?
He was so kind to me. He said I was strong and proud of me for bringing it to his attention. He made sure that each kid was spoken to, their parents were contacted, and they were to leave me alone. Which they did.
A few of them (over time) became friends of mine in high school. In a school that small if you held a grudge forever that really limited your friend group! ha!
I am not even sure I told my mom about it at the time. I just handled it.
Yes, I did cry alone over it, but never in public. It made me stronger and showed me that I can stand up for myself.
Fast forward to now.
What is up with people these days?
Why are people so quick to instantly plot revenge with weapons or homemade bombs?
Why are people so quick to end their lives?
Why are people, dare I say, kinda "soft" when it comes to these things?
I see less and less young people standing up for themselves or reaching out for help from a trusted adult when they can't fully stand on their own.
TO BE HONEST: I am not trying to endorse bullies.
What they do should not be glorified or honored, but why not use their actions as a chance to learn resilience and inner-strength?
I am not going to lie to you and pretend I never had horrible thoughts about easy ways out of horrible situations like I listed above. I just know that something snapped within me that day when I read the note from my classmates. It's like I suddenly felt empowered and strong.
I know this doesn't just apply to my life.
Think of people like Stefani Germanotta. You may know her as Lady Gaga. She was bullied horribly throughout childhood and into college. While she was in college, there was a private facebook group created that went by the name of 'Stefani Germanotta, you’ll never be famous.'
Wow. How wrong her haters were.
She took all those negative words and thoughts, poured them into her career, and became one of the most-honored artists of our time. Stefani (Gaga) has gone on to also create the Born this Way Foundation to combat bullying and negativity by promoting kindness.
"Kindness is foundation to everything we do."
Her words are powerful. Yet, will her good deeds eliminate all bullies? Probably not. Yet, we can learn from her (and maybe even from me) that being picked on isn't the end of the world. We can bounce back stronger and learn how to be our best selves.
We are not defined by what others think of us. It's how WE view ourselves that matters most.
And, most of all, I think how WE view ourselves greatly improves when WE see that we have a purpose. The moment we realize we were made for a reason, THAT is when the harmful words from those who find joy in tearing down others have little to no impact upon us.
For too long in my life, I was able to put up walls and build a strong fortress with each incident of bullying I faced. However, on the inside (that part of me that I didn't show to others often) I was deeply hurt. Something finally clicked for me during my adult life, when I really took Jeremiah 29:11 to heart.
I know that God put me here for a reason. I know he has incredible plans for me, many of which I have been able to accomplish and I am excited for what is yet to come! I know that his plans are never to harm me, but to give me a future.
What a joyful thought that is! To know that we all have unique gifts and a purpose, and that God is FOR US - NOT AGAINST US is incredibly powerful. It helps guide me and keeps me thinking, "This may be tough. The 'haters' may still be out there. BUT God isn't going to let me down. He is making me stronger day by day."
Because, like I said, it takes a LOT of pressure to make a diamond!
2019 GOALS CHECK UP#1. Drink more water. Some days are better than others!
#2. Continue to do daily devotionals and prayers with my daughter. We aren't perfect and may miss a day here and there, but we always catch up!
#3. Floss at least 3 times a week. Uh oh! So I was really good at this for about two or three weeks, time to get back on it again!
#4. This blog -- quit neglecting it! Here I am today working on it!
#5. My photography -- create new content at least twice a month. YEAH, I have done a good job at this!
#6. Send a messages electronically or via snail mail to loved ones to let them know they are valued. I don't know how well I have done at this. I think at times I do it without even taking notice, but I could be more pro-active!
#7. Practice more prayer and meditation to quiet my mind before bedtime. Oh, this needs work!
#8. Continue to stash $ in savings and apply extra $ towards the principal on my house loan monthly. Still doing this, but could be doing even MORE.
#9. Don't miss church. Now that we are doing Church Online via Life Church, we haven't missed a week since the last weekend of December 2018!
THANK YOU FOR DROPPING BY THE BLOG TODAY!
~ Michelle of MK Designs Photography