The words were so vulnerable & I could see on her face that she wanted to be sure I'd still like her. Respect her. It's scary to admit something like that.
Some background: I was on zoom giving class two of the #Sarasquad VIP series where we learn about healthy friendships. Many of the girls had been the victim of a bully or mean treatment and we were navigating how to deal with that in the healthiest way.
And then she messaged me. "I think I'm the mean one. The bully."
Listening to the pain of others and being brave enough to recognize that you are doing that to girls in your own class is brave and terrifying.
"How do I stop?" She typed.
The hardest question. And, so so so brave.
She was many states away so a virtual hug would have to suffice as I reassured her that recognizing the behavior was step one and that it took courage to do that.
Wanting to stop was step two. Wanting to be nicer, kinder, a catalyst for good was so important.
And then I shared some more.
I'm sharing it here so it can help others too.
To every kid, woman, person who has found themselves being mean, treating someone as less than, hurting someone, I hope this helps.
When we intentionally hurt someone it's a reflection of us, not them. Something inside us is causing us to be cruel. It can be anger, towards this person or just anger in general, it can be jealousy, it can be our insecurity, our bad day...
Whatever it is, we have to fix something inside of us so we can be nicer. So, the next step- step three- identify the feeling inside you at the moment that is causing you to act like this.
Step four, get to work healing yourself. If it's a lack of confidence practice affirmations and writing yourself love notes. If it's anger, figure out what's causing it so you can let go. If it's stress, go work out.
It isn't an easy journey. It's hard to face something ugly and work it through. But, it will lead you to a wonderful new place. A place you can look in the mirror and say, "I am kind."