My son had an experience last night at lacrosse practice where some of the older kids on his team were bullying him. We had a long discussion with him afterwards about standing up for himself and understanding his value. The experience and discussion resulted in a restless night of sleep. Was the conversation too strong? Is he too young to have to deal with this stuff? Are we raising him well? All the questions any parent would have when discussing these types of issues.
This morning as I was braiding my son's hair for school, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. First thing I thought was - Damn I look like shit. I have bags, my gray hair was making a statement (and it wasn't a good one) and I just looked tired. When I began my morning meditation the first thing that came to me was - how are you any different than your son? Remember how you encouraged him to stand up for himself and understand his value, you need to do the same. After my meditation it was clear as day, I was also being bullied, but it wasn't from someone else, it was from me. The inside bully was saying these negative things and I believed it.
So, if I were to follow my own advice and stand up for myself I would say - you are tired and have bags because you love your son and only want the best for him. Your hair is crazy because you tossed and turned trying to find the right solution. You look tired because you need to be replenished. I would also tell myself that I have great value. I helped to create and raise a son who is wiser than his years, who is able to release the negative and be positive, and who appreciates his life and his family.
I will take my own advice and feel grateful for the son and family that I have and know the value that I bring. I will give myself grace, indulge in a second cup of coffee, and silence the bully inside.