bully

I Need Your Help!!!!

“Beautiful people don’t just happen.”

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Alright Everyone!!!!

I need your help! I’d like to start by saying thank you for all the wonderful warmth and feedback you have left in your comments!!!  I am sorry I haven’t had a chance to reply yet, but I can assure you that I read every one.

The favor I need to ask everyone has to do with my friend Kelly (from My Time Is Now).  Most of you are probably pretty familiar with her name by now (and hopefully you have also checked out here awesome blog…conveniently also located in my blogroll).  Kelly and I met through boot camp.  We bonded pretty Imagequickly and came to discover we had more in common than we ever could have imagined.  She has been an amazing friend to me, and an inspiration to those of us who know and love her.

For almost as long as I have known her, Kelly has been going through the process of extricating herself from an abusive relationship- all while dealing with her mother having cancer and trying to be the best mom and healthiest version of herself possible.  She has busted her tail at the gym and lost over half of herself, and through the process has become a whole new person.  She has worked so hard to rebuild her self esteem and reclaim her identity, and she truly deserves every happiness in life.

In case you didn’t know, she is also the girl who ran the Color Me Rad as a “trash the dress” session.  It took a significant amount of courage and strength on her part to put that dress on and run.  Going through a divorce (or any break up) is hard enough, but to go through the mental and verbal abuse she’s been through and still be able to say “THIS IS ME” and pick up and carry on is just unbelievable to me.  I WISH I had that kind of strength when I was in her position.  This girl is SO MUCH more amazing than even she realizes.

This weekend I will be doing the Relay for Life with Kelly in honor of her mom and would really like to raise some money on her behalf.  Anyone willing to donate it would be greatly appreciated.

ImageHowever, the REAL reason I have requested everyone’s help is that Kelly has been dealing with a lot of unnecessary drama recently, including some surrounding the now infamous dress trashing (some people apparently have a burning need to stir up trouble… what ever happened to behaving like an adult and minding your own business?).  I have tried to explain to Kelly that I went through some similar drama with my divorce.  Some people are just inherently threatened by strong, motivated individuals, ESPECIALLY when those individuals seem happy in times when they should be falling apart.  They feel the need to take it upon themselves to tear them down.  Bullies ARE OPPORTUNISTS and can smell vulnerability a mile away.  I know she is smart enough to realize that when people are cruel and vicious toward her it truly comes from their own misery; however, it doesn’t make it any less hurtful or exhausting.  No one wants to deal with the ugly side of people, and no one should ever have to.  I am sure that as soon as she is in a better place, those haters are going to scatter (and with any luck, hide under a rock), but right now she is still vulnerable and doesn’t have the energy to stand up and fight back that she would otherwise.

Kelly didn’t believe me when I told her how many people were inspired by her dress trashing at Color Me Rad.  I think it’s hard for her to see what a gift she has for touching other people.  What I am asking is for everyone who has a spare second to go over to her blog and show her some love.

 

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Rise Above

Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha. 

 ~Robert Brault

I finally finished “The Happiness Project” on the flight to California.  I had started it several months ago and have been so busy, I hadn’t had a chance to pick it back up until now.  It is interesting for me to read because I have already been doing so much of what the author recommends in her book.  When I first started it, I was still struggling with criticizing myself and feeling bogged down by guilt and negativity.  It was not that long ago, and yet it feels like it’s been years.  I have had so much personal growth in the past 2+ years since I left my abuser that I feel like it’s not only been a major turning point in my life- but the greatest single event to date.   My life is now divided into 2 parts: before and after abuse.  I believe the Hatford Marathon (in just 4 wks!- yikes) will likely be another life altering moment, and I have to admit that it will be a relief to measure my progress from a new, more positive starting point. 

I am writing this post not only in my typical theme of reflection, but also as a vehicle to do something I never rarely do (hold your breath people!)- give myself a little credit.  I know- shocking, right? But, it’s true!  I want to give myself credit for getting out of a terrible situation; letting go of the guilt and blame that kept me tied to it; for committing to make a happier, healthier life for myself; for starting a blog in the interest of helping others- despite the fact that it meant opening old wounds and making myself vulnerable and open to criticism; for taking my life back; for pushing outside my comfort zone; for embracing other people- including new ones- without fear of betrayal or acceptance; and for accepting myself. Wow that was a mouthful! 

The truth is that I am happy- not only happy, but grateful.  I have so many wonderful, positive people in my life, and I know that I have been doing something right to attract them.  I am learning to balance looking for the good in people with not letting them take advantage of me; and I have made a commitment that I will continue to be a happy person even if it does make me vulnerable. 

Even before the abuse, my cheerful disposition made me a target of unhappy people.  I suppose there is not much more irritating to a discontented and pessimistic individual than someone who appears to float merrily through life.  I would take the snide comments, yelling, and bullying in stride- reminding myself that it wasn’t personal, just a sign of his or her own misery.  This worked well until the abuse started, and I no longer had the energy to brush it off.  However, now I feel like I do have the strength again; and I refuse to be dragged down by grouchy people looking to pollute others’ moods with their poor attitudes.

I don’t need others’ approval or acceptance because I know who I am and accept myself.  I have struggled with anxiety, trauma, and abuse and have emerged an even stronger, more compassionate, and self-aware individual.  Most surprisingly- I am happier.  I was a happy person before, but I am happier now.  I know the depth of my strength and resolve.  I value myself now more than I ever did; I appreciate my life more than I ever could have before.  Any good day is a terrific victory- and by good I don’t mean exceptional, just free from anxiety.  I don’t regret what I’ve been through.  I am not angry.  I don’t resent my abuser.  If anything, I feel pity for him and his family.  I feel sorry for anyone who feels the need to drag others down.  Making other people miserable only perpetuates your own misery, just as helping and showing others kindeness will increase your happiness.

When others lash out at you, take it for what it is- a sign of unhappiness and low self-esteem.  People who go around picking others apart do so because they are unhappy.  They are equally critical of themselves.  Happy, self-accepting people don’t treat others poorly.  Only people who lack self-love put others down.

You can’t control other people, or how they treat you; however, you can control how you react.  Sure it’s upsetting when someone takes an undeserved shot at you; but ultimately, it’s not your problem- it’s his or hers.  You will go on with your life and continue to be happy and well-adjusted.  The bully, meanwhile, will continue to be irritated by everyone and everything.  It’s a miserable existence.  It’s not a life anyone strives to live- bogged down by anger, self pity, and self loathing.  Rather than focus on their attempts to bring you down, instead be grateful for who you are.