I remember a time when I was speaking to a young lady who was about thirteen-year-old. She had just tried on a nice dress. As she looked at herself in the mirror all she saw was what she wasn’t. She saw that she wasn’t pretty, she wasn’t slim, and she wasn’t confident. She was able to only spot out her flaws. I listened to her as she spoke these unkind words aloud and no matter what I said to reassure her she didn’t believe it. She turned and said to me “If only I was as pretty as you.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, it tore me to pieces. What shocked me the most was that she had voiced aloud, what I have always voiced to myself in my heart. I watched as she bullied herself and teared herself down and wondered was I also a bully?
A bully is a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. We often think of a bully as an insecure person that is greater in size, that won’t stop harassing you. We also may think of them as only being in the workplace or school settings. But, what happens if you wake up every day to them? or, you hear them all the time in your head and they taunt you while no one is watching? It’s difficult to recoil when the very person you are running from resides in you. That young lady broke my heart that day saying what she did about herself. She found no value in who she was cause her flaws were large giants before her, that blocked her from seeing any of her true strengths. At the time she was thirteen and I was twenty-six still dealing with the same mentality.
Our minds are like trees and our thoughts like branches. I have grown such a large branch that it would take twice as much work to tear down these thoughts of myself. Why do we bully ourselves? What type of expectations are we are putting on ourselves? Some of you may think what I am speaking of is not bullying, and this is a form of insecurities, or self-hate but that is what a bully does, they assert their dominance by verbal abuse and harassment to embed these feelings of insecurities and self hate. You do it so much it’s normal to you. You call it, “tough love”, “self-evaluation”, or jokingly say, "I'm just kidding". But you are not, for example, you are a bully when you push yourself to do things you weren’t meant to do. When you try to conform to look like someone else, or when you beat yourself up and talk down to yourself, or tear yourself down when you didn’t do something correctly. Even when you attack yourself with words that cut you skin deep and you feel because it came out of your mouth, or because no one heard you that it is ok, or because you don’t dwell on it that it’s not there. However, that branch is growing and getting stronger and more difficult to tear down.
I have bullied myself for years. But because I produce results such as graduating from college, being active in church, blogging, working and always just doing, I saw it as no issue. It was second nature, a quick negative comment here a sly comment there. This type of bullying didn't necessarily mean I couldn't live an active life. It simply meant that just as the
thirteen year old I seen what I wasn't rather than who I was, and what I couldn't do rather than what I have done. We need to deal with our perspective we have of ourselves. You have been thinking of yourself as lazy, fat, ugly, incapable, or a loser and we need to change the perspective and see things as God wants us to, here is why.
1. If you think you are ugly, you think the same of God (Genesis 1:26-28)
2. God doesn't look at the exterior of things but the interior (beauty is within) (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Peter 3:3-4)
3. Your love to others is fabricated if it doesn’t mimic your love to yourself (Matthew 22:36-39)
4. When you are in Christ, who you once were should no longer exist (2 Corinthians 5:17)
5. You can’t trust what you think of you (Jeremiah 17:9-10,Proverbs 3:5-7)
6. There are branches that need to be cut down (your thoughts) 2 (Corinthians 10:5,Romans 12:2, Hebrews 4:12)
7. Your mind has to grow new thoughts (Philippians 4:8)
8. God cares what you think of yourself (1 Peter 5:7)
9. Resist speaking ill of yourself and know you’re not alone (Colossians 4:6) (1 Peter 5:8-9)
We all go through it. But, you must go through it. Not stay in it. We all suffer with this idea of completely loving ourselves with all our flaws and shortcomings but, it up to you to teach people how to love you and if you continue to bully yourself no one will know how to properly love you and your flaws.