“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I believe the first time I started being bullied was at home, around the age of 9. It was a very difficult time for me because the one place that I felt safest no longer felt safe. How did I cope? I went out into my backyard and let my imagination take over. I wanted to be anywhere but at home and so I pretended to be an archeologist (digging in the dirt), geologist (collecting rocks), botanist (nurturing plants), organic farmer and baker (making mud, stick and grass pies) or wildlife biologist (watching wildlife live with freedom). My backyard was my safe spot, but I wanted to live free like the wildlife in my backyard. Free from torment. Free from suffering. But I felt stuck because I was only a child. Furthermore, I didn’t know what to do with all these lingering feelings I was collecting in my emotional backpack. So, I ended up living a sluggish and fake life with all these unsettled emotions inside of me.
As a consequence of living a sluggish and fake life, I chose not to care about my family, about my friends and, mostly, about myself. I chose to live as a victim because I didn’t know any other way. I didn’t know that I shaped my life. I didn’t know that I could stick up for myself. I was so dependent on others my whole life that I never experienced what pure independence tasted like, until last year. This is when I took 100% responsibility for my life. No more finger-pointing. No more excuses. I am not an entitled person–do those even exist?
What has my past taught me? That the life I lead is up to me. I can feel like the victim or I can be the hero in my life. How can I be the hero? By using the tools of life. If I see myself putting blame on someone for my own feelings then I apologize immediately with no ‘ifs’, ‘ands’ or ‘buts’.
Thank you for reading.