Since I began presenting A Life in Pieces 9 years ago, it has been the attendees who have driven my motivation and passion for A Life in Pieces vision and the message I send. And I feel joy at the end of each session as participants feel hope and a path forward, evident through testimonials clearly summarizing the message heard – children ARE innately good; look deep into the life and soul of “a bully” and see innate goodness screaming to come out.
2012 is my year of redefining THE BULLY, and I give thanks to a wise participant who wrote- “I am in awe of the discovery of your program. I am a vice-prinicipal at my high school and I couldn’t understand why a bully was the way he/she was. Not once did I think to ask the bully “who are they?” I disciplined them and suspended them, but it never helped.” Words to grow from and succeed by. It is difficult coming out of a state of habit we have been engaged in all our lives. We as children and youth were suspended/disicplined and/or rewarded/punished so WE become productive members of society. Then, we as adults suspend/discipline and/or reward/punish children and youth so THEY become productive members of society. In session we connect these two phases of our lives and it becomes clear to many they were not happy children with this child-rearing practice, therefore children today would not be happy. Most likely the process of reward and punishment was, and still is accompanied with the demand “BE GOOD,” a phrase of expectation that affects character and behavior because one feels they were/are never “good enough.” In session, attendees always equate “BE GOOD” to feelings of unwelcome; fear; creepy; anger; revenge; I am bad, and many, many more.
“A bully” is one of these children greatly affected by the way he/she has been judged and disciplined to “BE GOOD.” “A bully” has “bad” behavior for reasons often unknown to the adult (ie. abuse at home) and it is found that the bully, as his/her behavior worsens, is actually crying out for approval. Many have a hard time realizing that as the “bully” withdraws or becomes obnoxious, he/she actually needs more love and acceptance. And the higher the “bully’s” defences, the more starved and alienated he/she feels. This spirals into a vicious, never-ending cycle as this behavior tends to drive away the very acceptance and love he/she needs. The truth - ”A bully” is born innately good, just as all other children and desperately needs empathetic, caring adults around him/her. The “bully” will soften and naturally exhibit good behavior when compassion and respect is given.
Warm caregivers build warm feelings of love that build confidence and drive, allowing happiness and fun. There is nothing but progress and success as the child is guided to optimum growth in learning, relationships and/or workmanship. A “bully” often looses this sense of warmth, love and confidence because we as adults see external behavior that is aversive and creates negative, distant relationships. Not once do we think to ask of the bully, “who are they?”
Thank you for hearing “the bully!” You will discover an inner soul worth knowing and caring for.