I forgot about the times I had been bullied.
For a minute.
Then it came right back.
Until I finally brought love to it.
Brought love to the entire arc of my being bullied story.
Love meaning listening, observing, verbalizing, empathizing.
The teachers, the bystanders, myself.
Even the bullies.
Especially the bullies.
The only way I have ever made peace with being bullied is by bringing love to it.
Listening to my younger self.
Talk to him.
Comfort him as I would a young child.
Explain that it had nothing to do with him.
Only the insecurities of the other.
Observing what was going on with my body.
Verbalizing how it made me feel.
Empathizing with the bully.
I tell the bully I forgive him.
I tell him that I understand why he did it.
Finding out how I created being bullied.
What did it do for me?
Did it allow me to feel superior to the bully?
Big, bad bully.
Little Stevie can take it.
Bring more imagination.
Bring more love.
Bring love to my eight-year-old self.
Listen to him.
How angry did it make you?
You had friends who were empathetic.
I love you.
Empathize with him and the bully.
You were both playing out a story.
This is the only way I make peace.