Monday at Girls On the Run, we discussed bullying. What it is. Ways to deal with it. What to do if it occurs. Riley did fine during the general discussion. She participated. She did fine throughout the warm up exercises.
Then, each girl recevied a piece of paper with 8 different scenarios. They were to read a scenario, run a lap while considering said scenario, and in between laps write down what they would do in the given situation.
Riley looked ahead to the second scenario, and emotionally fell apart.
“You see a little girl in your neighborhood being bullied by older, bigger girls.”
Crouching beside the school building, eyes full of tears, hands over her ears she repeated,
“I don’t want to think about this! I don’t want to think about this!”
The mere thought of anyone being mean to anyone else, for any reason, is intolerable to her.
Two friends tried to comfort her. They offered words of encouragement and took turns staying with her. In the end, she finally was able to complete one out of eight laps.
Now, that’s a sad little story, isn’t it?
Here’s the tale from a Law of Attraction standpoint.
There is a little girl, walking around in “the vortex.” The vortex is her happy place, where All is Well. It isn’t really magical. It is her natural state, but to many it feels magical since they spend so much time bumping around miserably outside of the vortex themsleves. Riley, despite her meltdowns, spends more time in the vortex than most. She lives in there, feeling joy at the extreme, and it is so very painful for her to be yanked out of it. Thus the screaming.
So adults, in their effort to prepare her for situations that “might” happen, warn her about things like bullying. It reminds her of a time when she was four, when some children left her out. It takes her to a place of feeling fearful and vulnerable, a place she wasn’t presently experiencing, but has now been brought back to, thus making her more likely to attract a bully, since bullies are always coming from fear and vulnerabilty themselves. Like attracts like. I’m not blaming children who are being bullied for attracting the bullies. “Attraction” does not mean the same as intentionally inviting. I’m not saying bullying is ever okay or that it should be tolerated. What I’m saying is the powerless and fearful vibration of a bully and their victim are always a match.
And here’s the tricky part. What is good for one person, might be all wrong for someone else.
When I was in my twenties, I was heavy duty into a full contact self-defense class. In terms of Law of Attraction, some might think taking the class would be inviting an attacker into my world. Thinking about attacks, practicing simulated scenarios, pummeling a “mugger” with my hands and feet, might just be a bad idea. You get what you think about, right? And that might have been true for some.
But for me, it was just the opposite. Since I felt like I knew how to protect myself, I no longer walked around feeling so scared and vulnerable. Giving off a vibration of strength, I was much less likely to be attacked.
Some children might feel a lot safer, having a script, knowing what to say to a bully. They might feel empowered, and not have to think about it much thereafter. For Riley this exercise wasn’t the way to go. It made her more likely to be scared, and attract the very thing she fears.
Self-empowerment for Riley will come in through a different door. Aside from a couple of small playground skirmishes, she’s rarely been the target of any kind of cruelty. Educating her peers and the adults around her has been a crucial part of this. People are so thoughtful and understanding when they know what’s going on. For us, that’s where we will continue to focus.
Nothing in this world is one size fits all, but if cruelty were as unfathomable to all, as it is to Riley, the world might be a much better place.