Bullying.

Sometimes the hardest topics to talk about are the most important. So let’s talk.

We live in a cruel world. Not because of an unstable economy, or global warming, but because of what’s happening under our very noses. Bullying is a sad reality for so many people in this world. It was a reality for me for many years, and contrary to popular belief, bullying doesn’t always end after high school.

Whoever came up with the ridiculous “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is the biggest idiot around. Sticks and stones might break your bones, but those wounds will heal. The wounds caused by words… those will never heal. A person who has fallen victim to the cruelty of emotional bullying will never forget the words uttered by their bully. I’m 22 years old and I can still remember every cruel word and every cruel action that bullies have ever thrown at me. If you’ve fallen victim to bullying, you’ll never forget it.

It’s taken me a long time to become the person that I am today. I’ve finally realized that what other people think and say about me doesn’t define me. I define me. But for the longest time, I let the things that bullies and people who I thought were my friends define me. Bullying led me to a very dark place: I was convinced that I would never be good enough. I was fat. I was stupid. I was unworthy. I was ugly. I was worthless. I will never forget feeling like I was the only person in the world that wasn’t worthy of being loved. I will never forget feeling like there would be no difference whether I was on this earth or not. I will never forget hating myself for not being good enough. I will never forget being bullied.

I’m writing this to tell all the bullies out there that what you do has more of an impact on your victim than you will ever know. I’m urging you to think twice before you engage in putting someone else down. And I’m writing this to tell all the victims of bullying that it gets better, and that you are good enough and you always will be. Words will hurt you and they’ll stay with you forever, but they don’t define you. There comes a point where you realize that you deserve better, and that you serve a great purpose in this world. Everyone has a purpose, and one day you’ll find it. One day you’ll realize that you are meant to be here, you’ll gain friends who love you for everything that you are, and you’ll love yourself for not only making it through the turmoil but for rising above it and realizing that you deserve the world. Everyone deserves to feel like they’re the most beautiful person in the world.

It may sound cliche, but being bullied has made me into the person I am today. Though I would have loved to skip the hardship, I know that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without facing the cruelty of bullying. Not only has it taught me that I create my own destiny, it’s taught me what not to do, and who not to be. I realized that bullies aren’t above me, they’re below me and they’re only trying to rise up by bringing everyone else down. Being able to rise up without tearing everyone else down is a feat that many people can’t achieve.

It pains me deeply to see so much bullying in our world. Something so preventable causes so many people to think that they don’t matter in this world. I challenge everyone reading this to take a moment the next time you open your mouth to fire hurtful words at someone: find another way to make yourself feel better. Rise above bullying.

 

Featured image credit: http://www.chatelaine.com/living/social-media-cyber-bullying-solution/

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