You Are The Hope Of The World
Buddhism teaches that the lotus flower grows in muddy water, what this means is that our supremely noble lives continue to shine even amid the harshest of life’s realities, just like the pure white lotus flower that blooms unsoiled by the mud.
Having gone through what you have, there is pain and suffering in others’ hearts that only you can notice. Having suffered what you have, there is true love and affection that only you can find. There are definitely people out there who need you. If you give up on yourself, it is only you who will lose.
Nothing, no matter what happens, can change your inherent worth. Please have courage. Please tell yourself that you are not going to let this ordeal defeat you.
– Author Unknown
In grade school I was bullied for three years, it was the early nineties, and the topic of bullying was not a conversation anyone was having. There was name calling, endless prank calls, graffiti painted on the bathroom stalls about me, and the principal of my school refused to take any action. I was chased wherever I went, publicly humiliated; I think you get the point. Throughout those years I did not have any support. There was not an open line of communication for me anywhere or with anyone.
Moving on to high school, I was trying to figure out how I would survive, so I took on a false persona. I was the ‘tell it like it is’ chick and the only person I got in to trouble was myself. I lipped off to the teachers, I created entire dramas out of nothing, but for the first time the other kids began to accept me. When I finished high school I had just managed to graduate, my not caring attitude had almost flunked me.
The reality was that I cared more than most people about fitting in. At the end of the day all I wanted to know, was that I belonged.
As soon as I received my Grade Twelve diploma I hightailed it to LA! The plan was to become famous within one year, so I could look back at everyone and say, ‘I told you so.’ I was seventeen years old and in the middle of my audition for a full-time scholarship my body seized, I froze. The over confident, non-caring persona that I had taken on for so long had failed me, I guess like me, it was tired too. Tired of being someone I was not, tired of being inauthentic. I didn’t get the scholarship, I was devastated, but it was the first time I realized that I had a lot of work to do on myself and I better get to it.
I returned home to Vancouver a year later and I got myself in to therapy; it was up to me to create a support system for myself and I did begin what I have now realized is a life process. Learning to love myself, to be an authentic person, and someone of integrity. I have learned that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
A few years back, a great friend of mine and I were out at Karaoke. In between our ballads of nineties rock I was speaking to him about being hooked on things people had said about me over the years that I still felt hurt about.
He said, ‘Sweetheart, you know I think the world of you, people are always going to offer their opinions whether you ask for them or not. So the next time someone says something to you, just smile and say, ‘Thank You.’
That has been the best piece of advice anyone has offered me.
That night, I also realized that the only true critic is myself. That I have a choice to take on what someone else thinks of me or not. The only time a criticism, a judgment, or a thought, can become a reality is if I make it one.
So the next time someone freely offers their opinion to you, simply smile and say, ‘Thank You.’ Know that you are enough, and that you are someone who does matter. Take a deep breath. On the tough days, hold this quote close to your heart. You are worth it.