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Love is More Than a Bouquet of Roses – Written By Wendy Hutchinson

Love is More Than a Bouquet of Roses

Written By Wendy Hutchinson

 

My oldest son rides motorcycles and has lived life full throttle from the moment he entered the world.  He was trying to beat a red light and an SUV jumped the green light and the damage was extensive.  I was out walking my dog that morning and a stranger called from his phone and asked me “do you have a son”?  I said “yes”, “does he ride a motorcycle”? I said “yes”.  My stomach started to twist into a knot and I knew this was not going to be good news.  He says “I just saw him T bone a car and he is lying in the middle of the street unconscious, I’m not sure if he’s alive, he’s at the intersection of Chimney Rock and 59.  Paramedics are on the scene.  Click.  I started running home dragging my dog.  I’m crying and starting to get hysterical and start bargaining with God, “don’t take him, I’m not ready, don’t call him home yet”!  I get in the house and start running up the 3 flights of stairs calling my husband’s name.  He was just getting out of the shower and I am crying uncontrollably “he’s dead! He’s dead! OMG he’s dead” I’m inconsolable.   My husband is just standing there in shock holding me and I tell him there has been an accident and my son was hit by an SUV and I just know he is dead or dying in the ambulance. I started gathering things for the hospital, dealing with my dogs and as I’m getting the downstairs set up for our old dog and the other one to doggie daycare, I’m begging God not to let my son die.  I wasn’t ready to lose him. Are we ever ready to lose the ones we love?  We started calling hospitals.   We found out where he was when a police officer called with the information, how he got my number I don’t know.  At this time, all I knew was he was alive and we raced to the ER.  In that moment, I knew what the depth of love is.

Love isn’t romance.  It isn’t sunsets and walks on the beach. Love is your soul connecting so deeply to another soul that pieces of you die when they die.  Love is the imprint two souls have on each other that say Namaste, the light in me honors the light in you.   Pure love is unconditional.  It doesn’t keep score.  It is being compassionate and forgiving and seeing beyond the pain the other is causing you.  Above all, love is choosing to be complete and whole so you can show up in a healthy way, set boundaries, create harmony but not codependency. Love honors you while holding space for the other.

Love is infinite in its depth and flows like a river between us all. It is a connection beyond words or space or time.  It is unbreakable although sometimes we feel broken.   Choosing Love over fear creates miracles and healing.  Although love varies from parent to child, or between you and your pet or between you and your spouse or friends and family, the one truth about love is it is eternal.  Choosing Love over fear allows you to show up as the highest version of yourself.

Fear was showing up for me in the ICU waiting room. The running tape of what if scenarios began immediately.  What if he is brain dead, what if he is paralyzed, what if he will require 24/7 care for the rest of his life? What does that look like for us?  I was just stepping fully onto my path as a Life Coach and Marconics energy practitioner, would I have to sacrifice my dreams to now care for my injured son for the rest of his life?  His girlfriend was hyperventilating on the waiting room floor, I’m comforting her, while my husband was sitting stoically dealing with his internal dialogue and emotions, taking it like a man.  Fear energy takes you right down into the abyss with no chance of clawing your way out.   Fear keeps you isolated and scared and it creates an imbalance in your entire being.  When we are in fear we want to lash out, be angry, stressed, anxious and no good outcomes ever come from that mental state.

So here we were in the ICU, I’m alone with him in his room, mother and son.  He has broken his jaw in 3 places, broken pelvis (cracked in half like and egg), broken wrist in 4 places, broken arm in 3 places and small skull fracture.  He was in agony and sweating from the pain.  I heard him breathing, I felt him suffering.  He had 3 surgeries in 4 days.  I was thankful he was still alive.  Love is intangible, yet I felt the depth of the love energy pouring over me from friends and family and I opened myself to receive it. This was an extremely hard situation as he couldn’t stand and was bed ridden for a minimum of 6 weeks, his was jaw wired shut so it was a strictly liquid diet. They discharged him from the hospital exactly 1 week after the accident.

One night my son was in so much pain nothing we could do was giving him any relief. All I could do was crawl into bed next to him and hold his hand, and just be there holding space for him as he took the pain. We laid there all night waiting for time to pass for next dose of pain meds.  It was in that moment, that I knew a love so deep for my son it created a reservoir of strength that allowed me to walk through the suffering. This was one of the hardest things I have ever faced. Love is not a bouquet of roses.  It is the full expansion of your heart reaching out and touching the heart of another.

Aloha,

Wendy xx


About Wendy Hutchinson:

Alinea Life Coaching

www.alinealifecoaching.com

TEL: 619-246-5948

Find a Penny, Pick it Up- Written By Desirée Toldo

Written By Desirée Toldo

 

I believe in a lot of things. I believe that Disney Princess Band-Aids work better than regular Band-Aids; I believe that people are inherently kind, even if at times they forget it; I believe that most things taste better with ketchup; I believe that everything that is lost has a way of finding its way back. This is the story of the moment I found what I had lost 12 years ago.

In 2015, I was a senior in college living with my cousin and our best friend in our small dorm. It was rare to have the room to myself for a night, but when I did I would sometimes wake up from dreams of my grandfather who we had lost ten years earlier. I would wake up and be so sure I could smell his familiar scent, as though the door had just closed behind him—they were the most vivid dreams I had ever had. I struggled to put a meaning to these dreams. My grandmother and mother had told me of spiritual encounters that they had had in their lives, but I never believed that was the kind of thing I could experience. I wasn’t sure if I even believed it was possible. Yet I wanted so badly to believe that there was meaning in the dreams that I was having, that I was being visited by the person I missed more than I could understand.

One Sunday in March I found myself alone for the night once again, and I suppose my grandfather, who we called Papi, decided it was time to make a believer out of me. I fell asleep with a tingle of disappointment that always came with the end of the weekend. Before I knew it, I was walking up the street toward my parents’ house when I heard the engine of my brother’s truck start. I looked up to see Papi smiling at me from the driver’s seat. He didn’t say a word but I got in the truck and we drove away and went to a movie theater. I don’t remember the drive. I don’t remember any conversation. I don’t even remember what movie we went to see. But I remembering walking up to the concession stand and ordering my favorite movie theater snacks (pretzel nuggets, nacho cheese, and a small popcorn). I remember Papi paying. I remember the cashier placing loose change on the counter. And I remember one bright, shiny penny.

Even through a dream, where there are no limits to what you can imagine and what can be done, I knew Papi would not be staying with me in the world, but that he had come back for a day to take me to the movies, perhaps to reassure me that though he had left the world, he was not gone. He did not say a single word but when I asked him if I could keep that one perfect penny to remember the day he smiled. After that it all dissolved. Maybe new dreams came into focus or maybe it was all just black. I woke up alone in my room with a breath that felt like I had just been resuscitated. The weight of what I had dreamt and the emptiness I felt crashed over me. He was gone. I rolled over and made my body as small as I could in my tiny twin bed.

Against my crisp, black bed sheet I saw the perfectly polished profile of Abe Lincoln, shining up at me. A penny lay next to my pillow, as though it had been placed so purposely near me.

In life, Papi had never denied me anything—ice cream before bed (make no mistake, this was just as much a treat for him as it was for me—chocolate ice cream for him, vanilla for me), the little plastic table from the center of a pizza pie to use as a dining table for my Barbies, nothing. 12 years had passed since he died and yet he still didn’t deny me. This time he gave me something to believe in—his proximity, his presence, his attunement to me even after so many years. I had never felt so connected to someone in my life—he had chosen to give me this gift and in doing so he solidified everything I wanted to believe in but didn’t have enough proof of. I wear the proof around my neck at all times. The penny hangs close to my heart always—a reminder of what that dream meant and everything that changed as a result of it.

In the two years since Papi came to visit me in my dorm, I have had other similar encounters—dreams that seemed just slightly more than dreams. I sometimes wish I could summon both of my grandparents like characters in a science fiction movie, just to get their reassurance that they’re watching everything. But it doesn’t work like that. I don’t know how it works, but I believe in it. I believe that when I need them most, they appear. I believe that the cardinal that sits on my windowsill despite my cat’s numerous attempts to pounce on him through the closed window is Papi saying, “hello, I’m with you.” I believe that the dragonfly fluttering around my car as I eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich on my lunch break is Gram telling me that peanut butter and jelly is not a filling lunch and I should eat more. I believe that though they were lost, they are always hiding somewhere waiting to be found. It doesn’t make me miss them any less, but it makes the spaces between visits less difficult. Most of all, it gives me hope that there will always be another sign, another visit, another reminder of just how strongly they are imprinted in my soul.

Thank you for reading, with love

Desirée Toldo xx

 

Self-Esteem – Written By Hayley Young

Written by Hayley Young

 

I’m not sure about you, but I used to think self-esteem and self-confidence was the same thing. Well, quite simply, they are both very different. Self-confidence is a positive feeling that you can accomplish what you wish to, the assurance that you trust your judgment, ability, and power. Self-esteem is your emotional perception of yourself and your worth.

Self-esteem often feels like an inner voice, telling you what you are… or are not worth it. Think of it like the parrot on your shoulder or the chimp in your mind, judging us and tell us we are useless, pathetic or worthless. No matter what your skills, talent or ability anyone can have poor self-esteem, and it often goes unnoticed. It can be caused by a multitude of events from failure or criticism, to a bad decision we made, our upbringing and bullying, to name a few. These life experiences stay with us, affecting our future and how we see ourselves (even years down the line). We are more vulnerable as children, and this is when a lot of our perceptions of ourselves and who we will become develop. Self-esteem varies from person to person, day to day and hour to hour. Some people may appear positive on the outside, but battle with self-doubt on the inside.

Believe that you are worth it. You deserve everything you desire.

From now on stop procrastinating, accept compliments, stand tall, and walk confidently. Cage your parrot/chimp. Remember, I said everyone is different, so stop comparing yourself to others. You are worth it, and you have a meaning.

Exercise is not only good for our physical health but mental health too! It increases energy levels and improves brain function, keeping your mind healthy. Exercise releases endorphins, which makes you feel relaxed, lowers stress levels and improves your sense of well-being.

Nutrition and diet play a huge part in well-being by having the right vitamins and nutrients for our bodies to work properly. Also, maintaining a good diet encourages positive self-worth and esteem because you are thinking of yourself and taking care of you.

Getting plenty of sleep promotes positive feelings of self-worth as well as helping to reduce depression. Creativity and innovation are increased when you get enough sleep, and your brain function improves too!

I believe that meditation can help with self-esteem. Having that ‘you’ time promotes positive feelings of self-worth and increases your belief in yourself. You will also experience relaxation, clarity, peace, love, and joy.

Thank you so much for reading,

Much Love

Hayley xx


I am 5ft 5/6ish, dark blonde hair (often dye it red), blue eyes, happy-go-lucky, easy going, always happy and up for a laugh. Love travelling. Life is to short to be miserable!! you can connect with me right here: https://www.facebook.com/hayley.young.9237

Beliefs and Affirmations- The No Non-sense Approach By Stephen Garrett

Article Written By Stephen Garrett

A lot of attention has been given to positive affirmations over the years especially in this time of New Aged Spirituality. There is a tendency to lean towards the light and avoid the dark at all costs. Well, the cost is actually in avoiding the dark, as that is where our personal power lies and also where it gets all knotted up.

Buried in our dark side are ALL the limiting self-beliefs that are our true magnets – magnets that draw to us those things we want and more those thing we do not want. These dark side magnets must first be re-polarized before any affirmations will have a permanent and lasting effect. If we simply lay positive affirmations on top of these unearthed and unhealed limiting self-beliefs all the laws of attraction will avoid the new lawyer of positive affirmations and instead attract what our core beliefs demand.

Positive affirmations painted on top of negative unconscious self-beliefs is much like applying a coat of paint on top of an ageing, cracked, existing paint job. It looks great initially but over a very short time period the cracks show their true colors and all the efforts of the new paint job were for naught.

If you intend to have a fantastic new paint job last the test of time you must first do the hard work of scrapping off all the old paint and getting back to the original surface of the wood. Once down to the clear base the new paint job will hold true and look as good as new for a long period of time.

Well, if it is true for a paint job it is also true for affirmations. They will not hold to an old cracked belief system not matter how much effort you apply. The old cracked belief system will always show through and the laws of attraction will bring to you what the old paint job has always brought you. You need to scrape away all those old limiting self-beliefs and get down to the base you – your divine spiritual heart.

Once the scrapping has effectively removed those once powerful dark side, negative beliefs the way is clear for new beliefs in the form of affirmations. So do your scraping work! Ask yourself these types of questions and be brutally honest;

  • How do I keep myself small?
  • How do I really think of myself?
  • If I am being honest with myself what are some of my negative identities?
  • When someone gives me a compliment what is my first thought?
  • When I make a mistake how do I really talk to myself?

These sorts of questions get at the negative self-beliefs lying beneath the surface in the shadows of your emotional mind/body. They must be brought into the light of day so you can de-identify from them and free yourself in order that you are able to receive the new paint job in the form of positive affirmations.

Without doing this preparation work; without scraping away the old paint; without getting down to the original clear wood surface you are simply wasting your time doing positive affirmations.

Much Love,

Stephen


Over the past decade I have spoken to groups as large as 1,200 people and more intimate groups from 15 to 200 folks. I have spoken in person at conferences such as IdeaCity, Double D’s Death and Dying Conference, the Ageing and Spirituality Conference in Los Angeles, the Bereavement Ontario Networks 25th Annual Conference, along with numerous radio and television shows.

I currently work with such organizations as hospices, professional continuing education organizations, colleges, communities, and churches creating tailor-made workshops to suit each group’s unique needs and learning styles. Learn more at www.stephengarrett.ca/

Why Chasing Success Will Kill You!

Aahhhh the sweet smell of success! The constant reminders every two minutes in our Facebook feeds with sponsored ads flashing out their promises of teaching you how to make 6 figures in 6 minutes and having a freedom lifestyle.

Selling to your heart desires and triggering your emotions by using clever marketing tactics, these ads forget to mention the ball breaking hard work and daily application of what it really takes to build strong foundations in a business that will stay standing for generations to come.

They forget to mention the MASSIVE risks you have to take, the responsibility you have to shoulder along the way and how you have to completely transform your personality in order to transform your reality…..Yeah! They kinda forget to mention the REAL hard work part.

So, instead, people fall hook line and sinker into the ads and walk blindly into what’s about to come. They start implementing what is taught to them and it starts to succeed and they have a rush of success and money, and SUDDENLY out of nowhere like a thief in the night, WHAMMMMMMMM!!! … You are hit with huge blows!

Suddenly you have a tonne of responsibility, you have a payroll to your staff to pay, you have so many people looking to you to make MASSIVE decisions every day in order to keep things moving. The anxiety burns up in your chest and throat, you feel like you have to work bigger, faster, quicker, stronger, longer each week.

I mean, after all, you have a reputation and staff to keep right?…… But then suddenly! You start to feel like you are stuck on this God forsaken hamster wheel, what have you created? This isn’t living your passion! This is working stupid hours each week with tonnes of responsibility and people to lead and answer to and you are making less an hour then you worked in corporate???

Nobody mentioned this in the course I signed up for??????…. Nobody mentioned in their shiny Facebook advert that I would be freaking and pulling my hair out by the end of the year! How the f**k am I suppose to handle all this? .. (then your immune system takes a beating) and before you know it you are hit with many illnesses, sometimes one after the other or all at once. What the f**k happen on this journey? Why did nobody warn me about this? Why does it same like one thing after another is against me? …. I JUST DONT GET IT! THIS IS NOT LIVING YOUR PASSION, THIS IS SLOW DEATH TORTURE!!!!!!!

Yes, I hear you! I hear every single question you are asking, why? Because I was that person. I totally experienced the above (and a whole load more) on my journey of building my international publishing company. Within 10 months I was riding my way to 7 figures, had a full team and assistants for my every need and was working with TV personalities, award winning film directors and News readers to help publish and market their books to best seller status. I helped over 350 clients hit the best sellers list in under 3 years and had 18 best selling books of my own under my belt, along with bad health, declining passion and a human body that had turned into a robot that was running a hamster wheel and shouldering masses of responsibility that was wearing me down to zero!

Was I really doing this for others? Or was I feeding my big fat ego to feel like a somebody? To feel important and to be idolized? … Was I really seeing that my business foundations were built on chasing success rather than building a legacy?

I was so BLIND! I was chasing success and it was killing me, far from softly! It was killing me harshly every single day! .. I had NOBODY telling me in every training course I did, in every program I signed up for, in every book I would read, and every session with every coach I had, I had NOBODY teaching me the powerful grounded principles that I would need to learn in order to build strong foundations that will build a legacy of a life time. Nobody shared that with me when they were taking money from my credit card…. NONE!

It’s something I had to learn myself and it came to me one day 2 years ago and hit me like a gigantic piece of wood around the head! SLAM! … There I lay in bed with a bad infection in my lungs and unable to climb the stairs without practically coughing up a lung watching a speaker on a Youtube video, I have no idea why I was drawn to her that day, I just decided to watch this particular video and her words hit me. It was in that moment my eyeballs opened wide and I said OH MY GOSH! I had been doing it WRONG for so LONG!

She repeated the same sentence twice, and each time my hair stood up on end and my goosebumps doubled in size on my arms. This was a massive revelation! I could see for the first time in years what I had been doing wrong. Why I was knackered, ill and completely drained! Why all this stuff was happening to me, and what I had to do to put it so right.

Within 24 hours of watching that video, I made the biggest decision in the world, that was to walk away from the publishing company, let my team go and place myself and my health first. I took 5 months away from the online industry and spent that time just being a mum, wife, grandma and spirituality student. I studied daily and continued to look after myself and my health started to improve along with me gaining my strength back daily.

I woke up one morning to the vision of creating an online digital magazine, I had zero clue how to create it or make it happen and no idea how to design a magazine, let alone have a team to hand to do it. I just knew I had to create the vision that God had planted in my mind… So I did.

The Missing Piece Magazine was born on January 17th, 2017, it has saved people’s lives, help people move forward from even the toughest of situations and it has a team of 31 amazing coaches from all across the world who write and create articles on a monthly basis to help others. We have grown from strength to strength and have over 14,000 followers on social media and subscribers who love our content so much! Because it changes lives!

So what really did peel me back up off that floor when I needed it the most? What did that woman say on that YouTube video to enable me to be the tower of strength?? .. What was it?

Her words were “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”
~ 1 Peter 5:6

BOOM! There it was! … We can chase success as much as we like, but until HE decides you’re worthy, you will be going around in circles for centuries. Until YOU really start to understand strong spiritual principles and live by them, study them and become them every single day, then you will be STILL going around in circles for centuries.

Now, before you start with the “She is a religious nut job” judgement, I spent my childhood growing up in a pagan household, made a tonne of mistakes in my 20’s and was a drug addict and self-harming by the time I was 25. After I stopped taking drugs at 25 I hit the bottle and depended on alcohol for another 10 years, which lead to 1 domestic violence relationship after another. Until I took my journey to self-discovery and faced all my demons of my past abuse in childhood and adulthood. I thought I knew quite a lot considering how far I had come on my journey of self-discovery and my success, but the truth was I knew SHIT, and I had YET MORE to learn.

The past two years have been truly an amazing growth period and I have learned what it REALLY takes to succeed in business to leave a legacy and what it really takes to equip others with the true principles of building a strong foundation in your life and business… I am living proof!

Next year (2018) myself and my business partner Kim B.Smith will start to teach these principles to people in events all across the globe and hosting a powerful retreat once a year!

I am so excited for what is to come and to finally shine a beacon of light upon all the business owners in the world, who like me once upon a time felt like they were drowning and have zero clues why?

It’s time for this to be taught, it’s time for people to build legacies and love every minute of it!

It’s great to be back from vacation after marrying my awesome partner! And thank you so much for taking time to read reading this!

God Bless, your friend for this journey,

Kate xx

3 Elements to Boost Positive Self-Esteem

by Trilby Johnson – Author and Body Energy Alchemist.

Writer for The Missing Piece Magazine

Self-Esteem is very much a question of connection. In my experience, it’s first and foremost about the connection you have with yourself. It’s how you think about yourself and feel about yourself! It’s also the manner in which you talk to and about yourself.

For many years I struggled with low self-esteem. In fact, I basically hated myself and my life was miserable because of this. I believed what others had told me about myself and it hurt. What hurt so much, was that I knew deep down inside that all of that simply wasn’t true – and yet I let myself down.

For me to get from that place of not liking or loving myself at all, to a place where I had a higher level of self-esteem, took a while and a lot of honest introspection. So in this issue, I want to share with you, 3 of the elements that I consciously chose to add to my life and which helped me to boost a higher and healthier sense of self-esteem.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

  1. Element of Self-Love

Having been someone who didn’t love myself very much, I can guarantee you that Loving Yourself is the most important thing you will even do. Not only for yourself – also for the other people in your life.

Then, it’s about how you connect to others in ways that either support or disempower your level of self-esteem. The reason is that, when you truly love yourself and allow yourself to be who you truly are – the good, the bad, the ugly and all the other bits – you are a Gift – to everybody you know and meet!  You can be confident. You can let go of the doubt, guilt and shame – all of which were probably not yours to begin with.

It took me a long time – through depression, abusive relationships and situations, suicidal tendencies and many low and dark moments – until I realized that all I really wanted, was to love myself.

So please give your permission today, if you are not yet there, to LOVE YOURSELF. It is soooo important!

Self-esteem is a by-product of loving yourself and not vice-verse. So make sure your are not missing out on this crucial boosting element.

  1. Element of Worth

I have worked with so many people, who believe that they are not enough. I know how that feels – I used to be like that. They believe that if they try harder or hard enough, if they give more, if they behave in a certain way, that finally they would be enough … and be worthy of other people’s praise, love, approval, or something else.

I have witnessed it and felt it myself – the huge sense of relief that comes with finally accepting and knowing that I am enough already. That I am worthy. And with this, the knowing that we are all worthy!!!

There is nothing to prove, despite that so many of us have been duped into believe it is something to be achieved or earned. The problems arise when we start to doubt or are led astray by other’s opinions and when we think that we have to DO something to Be Enough. We are enough . . . evident in the fact that Life itself has given us Life. We are enough!

So please, choose to know that you are worthy. This choice will add and boost your self-esteem.

  1. Element of Safety

This may surprise many people – I know it did me, when I realized that not feeling safe had a huge impact on my sense of self-esteem. Many of us are so afraid of the judgement of others. Perhaps even more so and subconsciously, we are afraid of our own judgement. I don’t know about you, but I have often been my harshest and most unforgiving critic!

I can remember the acute sense of relief I experience when I finally let go of judging myself and wanting to control everything … aahhhhh … it was amazing! I began to feel safe.

When you feel safe, you feel okay when you make mistakes. It feels safe even when you don’t always know exactly what to do, all of the time. It feels safe for you to be You – with or without other people’s approval.

When you don’t feel safe, worthy nor love yourself, these mindsets create a gravitational pull to everything ‘out there’ that matches these lower states of self-esteem. Life will serve you up the very things you fear. Life will show you perhaps adversely where you need to boost your levels of love, worthiness and feeling safe.

Safety is an inner state of being. Yes, you can live in a dangerous places – I’ve done that – and even in these situations, you can still feel safe. You can begin by claiming I love myself, I am enough and I am worthy, I am always safe! Even if at first you don’t quite believe or feel it completely. Claiming and declaring these will boost your self-esteem no end.

This does not mean there will not be days that are difficult nor that you will not have dips in your self-esteem. Simple no longer feed them and soon you will find yourself bouncing back. You will begin to enjoy the benefits of high self-esteem like feeling more confident, happier, healthier and more successful in your daily endeavours.

YOU are your most priceless and valuable commodity! Believe in yourself and your self-esteem will follow. Boost it daily with thoughts, words and feelings of  love, worth and safety that will provide you with a healthy and loving connection and web of self-esteem.

Thank you so much for reading, much love

Trilby xx


Trilby Johnson
Author, Speaker and Body Energy Alchemist
Connect The Essence of Who You Truly Are!
Blog – https://trilbyjohnsontheconnective.com/blogconnectiveharmony

SELF-ESTEEM

Written By Doneane Beckcom

When people meet me for the first time and learn about who I am, what all I do, and my many accomplishments, they have no idea that I ever struggled with self-esteem, stemming from being bullied from middle school all the way through college. My parents were wonderful at instilling in me the drive to succeed and that I could do anything I set my mind to; however, being bullied by people who were supposed to be my friends tore me down and made me feel self-conscious of my physical appearance.

I was one of those girls who was a very late bloomer. I shot up to 5’7” at about age 12, but I only weighed about 80 pounds and had no shape whatsoever. I towered over both the girls and boys from 6th grade until about 8th grade when they all started to catch up. But, when all of my girlfriends were starting to look more like women, I looked like a tall, skinny little boy. Even into high school, I still was thin and had no womanly curves whatsoever. Even my girlfriends made fun of me (I remember my best friend at the time telling me “something is wrong with you!”), and of course as the boys’ thoughts turned sexual, many of them chimed in also. This followed me all the way through my senior year in college, when it was mostly the young men who continued to taunt me. The last football season of my college years, when I was proud and honored to be the very first female Drum Major of our famed marching band, the band fraternity got together and bought me a big pair of fake plastic boobs and unveiled them after half time at the last game. I was mortified. I was a good sport though, and donned them as I conducted the fight song one last time. Whomever has pictures of this debacle I sure hope they have burned them by now!

When I left college and moved away, the feeling of looking inadequate as a young woman still haunted me, even though I was no longer being teased and bullied by anyone. I found out that I had some hormonal issues and suffered from fibrocystic breast disease, which had affected the growth of breast tissue and caused reproductive issues for me. After some treatment with medications, I opted to have a surgical procedure which removed about half of the breast tissue I had at the time (which was not much, I was not even an A cup at the time) and replaced it with implants. Of course, because of having been teased for so many years, I opted to have larger implants so that I would look “normal.” It was nothing drastic, I had a wonderful reconstructive surgeon who understood my concerns and made me look proportional and natural (I ended up as a small C cup which was perfect for my frame). I was finally happy with the way I looked and no longer concerned that anyone would tease me about my chest.

That surgery was 30 years ago. But when I think back on the people who taunted me and the things that were said, it is as if it was yesterday. Although it was partially medically necessary, it was also mental and cosmetic for me. And it is a shame that I had to feel that way about my appearance based on what other people said and did. And out of all of the many people who participated in the teasing through the years, only one of them ever apologized. It was a college guy, he was friends with my boyfriend at that time (who did not step up to defend me when his “brothers” taunted me, and yes I kicked him to the curb quickly!) and he tearfully confessed how horrible he felt for the things he had done and said to me and asked for forgiveness. Of course I accepted his apology and forgave him, but what about all those others who said and did awful things? Do they ever think about the 12-year-old girl or young college-aged woman they teased and how it made her feel? Were they bullied also and that is why they lashed out at me? These are things that I still ponder on occasion, especially when I hear about a young woman or man harming themselves because of being bullied. My daughter lost a close friend to suicide when they were only 13 years old, he had been bullied by other boys in the locker room and killed himself when he lost hope that no one would make them stop. He is only one of many that we hear about all over the world who lose hope because of being bullied.

So what is the take away here? First, if you have been bullied and your self esteem has been trampled upon, know that it is not your fault. Seek help from a trusted friend or a counselor if you cannot shake the feelings of inadequacy that bullying can manifest in your thoughts. Next, if you are a parent of a young child, start early in not only uplifting them, but also teaching them not to tease others and to tell an adult if they know someone is being teased or bullied. Innocent teasing can hurt just as bad as intentional bullying. Had my parents not been so supportive and uplifting of me, always assuring me that I was beautiful and smart and could do anything, I cannot imagine how things may have been different. Last and most important, if you suspect or know that your child (or a friend of your child) has been bullied, step in! Get to the bottom of it, request a meeting with teacher, counselor, parent of the bully, anyone and everyone in order to stop and correct the behavior. Some children may not reach out to a parent or other adult, but may reach out to your child, so if your child tells you about another child being bullied, please step in. You may be the only adult who does anything about it and prevents tragedy from happening.

Self esteem can be fragile. Handle with care, always, whether it is yours or that of someone else. Once damaged, it can be very difficult to repair and may take years to overcome the pain. Even those of us who appear strong and like we “have it all together” on the outside can still be the hurt and scared child who was bullied years ago.

Thank you so much for reading, much love

Doneane Beckcom
CEO, Bold Radio Station
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Fitness Nutrition Consulting, LLC