Being taunted by someone is hurtful. Being taunted collectively is horrible. When you feel the whole school has their back turned toward you and their eye on you all at the same time, waiting for another opportunity to strike takes a part of your childhood happiness and traps it inside a vault under lock and key, your perpetrator/s the key holder. Having to deal with bullying was a daily occurrence in my life. Some periods in life were worse than others and I doubt this will be the last of my posts about those times. It plagued me for the majority of childhood and teen years and was devastating for my soul. It's Not Just Kids.... Unfortunately, the hurtful words didn't just come from children but also adults. Looking back now, what they did was worse than what the children did. Kids don't really understand what they're doing, but adults, those you place your trust in,, who are supposed to keep you safe and protected, when they belittle you in front of other adults with no one seemingly coming to your aid, it's completely humiliating. Telling you about your certain body properties of yours were 'too big' and that you needed to get on the floor to exercise and work on them, in front of a room of people, telling you the only way to get rid of it was to continually work on it, it can be hard to forget, especially when there's someone else there agreeing. Implications there were distasteful parts of my body. Where did my insecurities about my body begin I wonder?? It wasn't enough I stood out because of my beautiful red hair. (I know it now to be beautiful, but it took many years for me to believe such a thing). I had to endure detrimental words from all angles it seemed for all different reasons, not popular enough, clothes weren't the best, didn't have nice hair, had freckles, my family, my name, my shoes, everything, kids are cruel, but so can be adults. Words Can Turn Into Beliefs While this post is about bullying, it's specifically about words. Words along the way can soon turn into beliefs. Hear something enough and you start to believe it, especially when you have low self-esteem. Both good and bad - choose good! Resilience As a child, you're not gifted immediately the strength to push these words aside and disbelieve them, to let them take ill effect. Instead, you take them with you for the time until you learn the ability to release them and no longer let them affect you. Unfortunately, this doesn't always take place, sometimes people never being able to get over what happened to them, those words and taunts can shape the person you become, leaving you as a shell of who you could really be. I'm one of the lucky ones. Somewhere along the way (I think because I simply had so much shit to deal with, in time I built up a hunger to become someone different to who they told me I was or would be, to run my won race), and through time, with the help of some, I was able to rise above it all, not without years or heartache though. When I look back to the little girl I was it pains me, for her, but i'm not that little girl, and I can now use those experiences to better my life, to learn from them, to learn my true strength and turn it into a gift. Love Language I now know why all the words pained me so much in life, as they would any child, but particularly in my case (and others who will be the same as me) because of my love language. What's a love language? I'd never heard of this until recently. Basically, there are 5 love languages and each of us will have a dominant love language (Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Quality Time and Gifts), recently reading this book helped me realise SOOOO much about myself it was amazing. I highly recommend reading this book, for yourself, your marriage, relationships, even single and your family also. It will completely change your life, and you can learn about your kids love languages too. Understanding how you're best loved and how you can best love your loved ones is fantastic!! It's under 100 pages of reading and can be read within a short time frame. If your love language is Words of Affirmation, you thrive on the words of affection, words of praise and compliments. Words like this raise your soul, they uplift you beyond happiness and a genuine heartfelt compliment or words of praise can have you high on life for a days, weeks or like me, taken with you for years and years. Having very sporadic kind words shown in my direction growing up, I took whatever I could get and I kept them in my own little vault, locked away with my key tucked up tight where nobody could find it and take it away from me. Just as I kept these kind words with me for all my time, those unkind words thrown my way I also carried with me which completely tore at my soul and destroyed little pieces of me at a time. Though I didn't want to hold onto these words, they stuck anyway. Parts will never be fixed, but I can heal them now I know how and forgive them, letting my inner child and the little girl of my past be at peace. We All Have Love Languages It's important to understand we ALL have the 5 love languages in different degrees, man woman, children, everybody. Those whose main love languages is Words of Affirmation will be able to relate so much to what I have written above and a little 'light bulb' might go off. This might not be your main love language but you might know someone who you think does. Either way, please, I urge you from the bottom of my heart, please please PLEASE be careful with the way you speak to children especially but also to others. Be Kind Always!! Children Children will suffer from any harsh words or criticisms, but those especially with this their main love language will be crushed the most. ALL children need words of praise and encouragement, with such words you will help them build their own self confidence and self belief. By showing children all 5 love languages we can prepare them the best for a strong and stable adulthood. I feel it's also vitally important to teach kids at a young age, other people's words mean nothing, they don't need to listen to anything, this might just help them stay strong when they need it the most. Gratitude Sharing kind words, words of praise and encouragement might just change someones life, you really don't know. I've reached out to most people who's kind words have carried me through, and those times, each and every one of them have been clocked up adding to and building a belief about myself which have lead me to this point today. Thank you to each and every single one of you for your encouraging words, they mean more to me than you can imagine (unless of course your love language is also words of affirmation) and I am forever grateful for each and every single one of them. Be an advocate of kindness, always. Love and light and may the universe always have your back. Xx The 5 Love Languages can be found in any good book store or online.