She was on the Dr. Phil Show.  The caption below her pretty face said: 

Renee       Was Bullied in School

This got my attention because my name is Renee and I was bullied in school, too.   I was harassed, stalked and threatened by a group of girls (former friends) throughout all of our high school years.  They made my life miserable at times and kept me from truly enjoying high school.  I never knew why they treated me like they did.  Some of them admitted there wasn’t a specific reason.  Years later, when we (my husband, sons and I) moved from Indiana to North Carolina, I felt relief knowing I’d probably never run into them again and wouldn’t have to worry about my kids going to school with their kids.   I was surprised that I carried those thoughts into my adulthood, especially since those people were no longer part of my life.

The Renee who appeared on tv was bullied on the school bus with name calling.  The hurts and insults stayed with her into her adult life.   She asked Dr. Phil how to get rid of the hurt she still felt from the bullying that happened so many years ago.  Even though she had become a beautiful, successful woman and loving mother, and claimed that she forgave those who bullied her, she was still haunted by the hurtful words she heard in her head.

That’s where our stories differed.  The Renee on tv replayed the insults in her head, hearing them over and over, and internalized them.  I, on the other hand, didn’t allow myself to be defined by the girls who harassed and bullied me.  I knew I hadn’t done anything to them and I didn’t deserve their treatment. 

Friends, NO ONE deserves that kind of treatment!  I don’t care who you are, what you’ve done, who your parents are, what kind of  house you live in, what you look like, or what others think of you.  You don’t deserve bullish treatment from others!  You don’t deserve to be bullied, beaten or abused.  Before you were anything to anyone else, you were a child of God!  He created you as beautiful being.  Even when the world doesn’t see our beauty, God does.    As a child of God you are entitled to His love.  The rest of us are commanded by God to love you.  Jesus says we’re to love our neighbors as ourselves!  That’s how much God loves us – that He commands us through the teachings of Jesus to love each other! 

TRAITS BULLIED VICTIMS SHARE (Given by  Dr. Phil on show dated 2-2-10):

1. Experience doubt about their self-worth    

2. Internalize the ‘toxic messages’ of the bullies (name calling and insults)  

 3. Unwilling to test the ‘toxic messages’ against reality.   (Are you really what their names say you are?)  

4. Unwilling to generate an alternate reality-based dialogue.  (ex:  I am not ugly or stupid.  I don’t deserve this treatment.  I deserve better!)

DR. PHIL’S ADVICE TO OVERCOME THE ‘TOXIC MESSAGES’:

1.  Is the message true?

2. Does hearing this in my head serve my best interest?

3. Will hearing these toxic messages protect or prolong my health?

4.  Do these thoughts give me what I want?

I’ve learned that quite often what we want is justification and for those who have wronged us to experience consequences  for their actions.  We want them to admit fault and say they’re sorry for what they’ve done.  Sometimes these things aren’t going to happen, so we have to accept our past and move on.  Someone recently shared this definition of acceptance:

ACCEPTANCE:  Not waiting for a better past.

I love that!  The past won’t change, but YOU can!  

I accepted what happened and chose to move on.  Holding on to negative things in my heart wasn’t healthy. Experiencing God’s love in my life changed my heart and my perspectives.  I gave up waiting for the day when they’d apologize.  I forgave them anyway.  Now I hope I do see them again, and have reached out to some of them through Facebook.

Don’t let the bullies of your past beat up on you anymore!  Chase their toxic messages out of your head!  And when you do, replace them with loving and positive thoughts instead.

Here are a few good thoughts to get that process started: 

God  loves YOU no matter what!  He created you with His own plans and purposes for your life (Jeremiah 29:11-2).  You are fearfully and wonderfully made by Him, His hand of blessing is upon your head (Psalm 139), and He wants only the best for you! 

PREVENT BULLYING:

Talk to your kids about how harmful their words and actions can be.  Don’t allow your children to make fun of others, call them names, or insult others in any ways. 

WERE YOU A BULLY? 

If you were a bully – teased, insulted, harassed others, or put them down – please find a way to apologize to those you might have hurt.  This act of kindness will mean more than you’ll ever know. 

Dear God, I pray for those who have been bullied, that they’ll be able to overcome the hurts of their past so they can move forward in a healthy, positive way.  I pray for those who are being bullied now, that they won’t give in to the ‘toxic messages’ of others and that they’ll allow themselves to see the true beauty You see in them.  I pray we no longer allow ourselves to be defined by the negative treatment and insults of others, and that we allow You to soften our hearts and remove the hardened places inside us.  Help us to accept and forgive others; and most importantly, Lord, help us to care enough about ourselves that we won’t allow others to hurt us anymore.  Your banner over us is love (Song of Solomon 2:4).  May Your love comfort, heal and strengthen us.  To You my Heavenly Father I pray, with Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and in the love of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

~  Taken from the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:10   (Beatitudes is a Latin word for ‘blessings’.)

 

 

 

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