Courage: The willingness to choose discomfort in pursuit of one's growth
This is my personal definition of courage. It sometimes involves saying "no" when saying yes is so much easier. It often means standing in your truth and honoring your values. This was the case in an event this past Spring that was the most courageous act of my 9-year old's life.
Bullying. What a dis-empowering act. You may disagree when you see how the kids who are bullies today seem to reign power over all the kids that bow their heads and accommodate their every request in fear of doing otherwise. What I know for sure is that bullying is one of the most cowardly acts one can commit. Its source is immense pain. Pain so deep that the only way the offender can manage it is to attempt to control others. And while others may obey, none truly respect the offender.
"But mom, she's the most popular girl in the class. No one stands up to her. We all love Tuesdays because she can't ride the bus and we can all sit where we want. She makes me feel worthless and if I don't listen she will make my life even harder." WORTHLESS....did my daughter just acknowledge this one girl in her class is ruling her life that much that her self-worth that I've spent 9-years cultivating is at an all-time low? Sadly, this was a truth. This is a truth for many of your children as well.
It only takes one child to silence the voice in your child's head that reaffirms their value and worth.
This was an event going on for a year before one night in late Spring, my daughter broke down and revealed it. Children hide it because they know their parents will take action and this scares them. It rocks their world almost as much as the bullying. At some point the pain becomes so great that it overflows and the suppressed emotions release involuntarily. Thankfully, this happened one night for my daughter when we were together.
"What would happen if you told her you were remaining in your seat on the bus?" I asked. "She would make fun of me in front of all my friends", my daughter responded. "And, could you handle that?" I asked. After a long silence, an uncertain "yes, I guess so" emerged. "How would it make you feel to stand up to her?" I asked. "Brave," my daughter stated. And then, I shared the historic stories of all the brave citizens she learned about the past year in history class, which left her with a curiosity and sense of renewed empowerment. I explained that she had this power like all the other heroes and heroines. She had the ability to change the course of history and free not only herself but her classmates as well. And, with a few more talks supporting her in this endeavor, she voluntarily performed her courageous act before the last day of school. It was such a proud moment for both of us.
My daughter explained how the events unfolded on that fateful day. This girl walked on the bus and informed my daughter she had to move out of her seat. Instead of listening, my daughter calmly stated that today she was not going to move. This act resulted in her being pulled out of her seat and thrown on the floor. This is where all that we had planned enabled my daughter to reclaim her power and her worthiness. She stood up and explained how the year of bullying made her feel. She informed this girl that she was no longer going to be told how to live her life. And, as those around her clapped at the end of her speech, the girl who was bullying her found her own seat that day in an empty row. The cycle had ended. It only took one child being brave and believing in herself. This is courage at its best and this is why courageous acts are the most powerful act you can commit. What's holding you back? If a 9-year old can do it, surely you can too.
This act inspired my new company called Wholehearted Evolution. I offer three different empowerment programs at the moment: Wholehearted Girls, Wholehearted Boys and Wholehearted Women. All of these programs are offered in West Chester, PA but I also certify others to create their own groups based on these teachings. One child recently learned that he was not a "mistake" as he had grown up believing. Another learned that she had a unique gift that the world needed and is now on stage performing. Each class offers breakthroughs and a firm reassurance that WE ARE ALL WORTHY. If interested in learning more, please email me at email@example.com. We can change the world together, one person at a time.