And all of my childhood I struggled to make friends. I read well from a very early age, and life inside my books was rich, wild, wonderful and adventurous.
Life outside my books was painful. I didn't fit in. I felt unwanted, I was sensitive to many things I didn't understand, life was not very settled, I felt very awkward around people and I was a target for bullies.
Something was different about me. It that was just enough to get me into trouble.
Secret #1 Bullies love sameness.
Bullies love everyone to be the same, because when everyone is the same, then they all act the same and that makes bullies comfortable. They search out difference and poke fun at it because they feel threatened by it.
Secret #2 Bullies are not happy.
The thing inside a bully that makes a bully pick on someone else, feels so disgusting to carry around, that they are trying to put it down somewhere. They want you to 'take' it from them. It's a feeling, like a rottenness - not a physical object. It is temporarily fed when they make other people feel as bad as they do, but it's nearly always hungry.
Secret #3 Bullies are ugly.
Oh, they can sometimes look pretty on the outside, for sure. But take a close look, that prettiness doesn't run too deep, and the good news is this - if a bully keeps pulling THAT face when they look at people and treat people badly - that face just might be the (wrinkle) face that they will end up wearing when they are old. The ugliness, badness or wrongness inside you that they 'seem' to be pointing out to you - IS THEIRS - it's ALL theirs. THEY are the ones who have to fix something, not YOU. They are sometimes masquerading as clever, but being a bully is not clever. It's a waste of character.
Secret #4 Bullies actually feel somehow disconnected. They try to reconnect by stealing energy from people who are connected. People who are connected are often connected to love, to nature, to kindness, sometimes they are connected to red hair, (red hair is very magical) and they can even be connected to freckles.
Secret #5 Bullies can't handle it when you know the truth about them, so you have to be a bit gentle with them, even though they are bullies. You can't tell them that you know they have these secrets.
You just have to remember how awful they feel and remember they are trying to eat your 'good' feeling. (If they felt good, they wouldn't do it would they?) Keep your good feeling with you and treasure it. Not everyone can deal with your goodness, kindness or indeed, if you have it, your red hair.
That's their problem, not yours, your individuality is what makes the world go round - it's your own personal torch, that helps you light your path.
Secret #6 Later on, some bullies are really sorry because they realise how awful they were and they were actually being bullied themselves. And sometimes they even apologise. Sometimes bullies just need kindness and someone to care about them, they can heal and so can you. You don't need to fix them though, and this is important to know. If you are consistently being bullied, get help.
The bullies that were mean to me, hung around in a big group and took turns saying super mean things one at a time. It made them feel better. And it made me feel really awful, really awful, isolated and scared, but at the same time I knew something about them. I knew that the one who was meanest - also frightened the other bullies, and some of them joined her because of their fear of going against the crowd.
What if she picked on them? They would have H A T E D it. And that small knowing helped me.
A whole group of people who need to pick on one person are sick.
Don't be a part of it.
The world only progresses when someone is brave enough to put their hand up and share their different idea. Our planet won't survive if we are all the same. Our planet won't survive if we all pick on each other. If you pick on someone, they might not survive. (Ask yourself why you need to and heal that) Because whether it's school, or the workforce, in home, or out in public somewhere - you don't know what that other person is going through - and one day - they might even save your life.
Your Challenge: Today think of all the ways that someone who dared to be different changed the world you live in. Think of explorers, inventors, innovators and scientists. See if you can name ten.
And then go out and celebrate your difference, because you never know what you could do that will change someones world.
If you know a friend who could benefit from these secrets please pass them on.
The terrible things that happened to me in my life, which made me feel isolated and scared, also increased my sensitivity to people - now it has also helped me to save other people that have felt really bad.
So what someone poked fun at me for, is my greatest gift. So I really mean it - celebrate your difference, because one day you will realise it's your greatest gift too.
Here is a (4 minute) video about how doing something that seems small can make a BIG difference to someone else. I hope you really enjoy it.
And keep this in mind: What other people think of you is none of your business - it's what you think of you, and what you do that counts the most. Let kindness be your guide.
Have a WONDERFUL day.
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