Once upon a time, in a green kingdom by the endless sea, lived a child that learned to escape bullying by imagining a beautiful world inside of her young and innocent mind. She drew inspiration from tattered books, Disney movies and the cotton-candy clouds that used to glide across the blue sky outside of her window.
Whenever she closed her eyes, her mind would travel to places that rivaled those of the middle-earth kingdoms; places of enchanted beauty and ethereal grace.
There, she discovered inner peace; a sliver of herself that no bully could ever take away, and there she gained strength to battle endless jeers, malicious torment and pain.
This child got bullied.
A pack of young girls – angelic on the outside but rotten on the inside – found pleasure in tormenting her and sought out sadistic ways of bringing tears to her eyes. Traveling in a pack of five, they’d stalk her after school, throw dirt in her face, call her nasty names and even accuse her of theft.
Once, the leader of the pack hit her on the back of her head because she refused to share her ice cream.
The child fell in love for the first time in second grade. His name was Vanya; he had blonde, cherub-like curls, cornflower-blue eyes and full, pouty lips.
She presented him with a handmade card as a token of her admiration for him, but he ripped it in half and spit in her face. Then, he called her ugly and ran away.
Years passed by and the child became a teenage girl.
With physical changes came hormonal outbursts and bouts of insecurities. The teenage girl gained weight and with extra pounds came insults and self-hate. Every sliver of her body was disgusting in her eyes, especially when compared to the slim and tanned models in the glossy pages of the prestigious fashion magazines.
Fitting room sessions would often end in tears, complaints and angry shouting. The reflection in the mirror was an undesirable, grotesque monster that the teenage girl couldn’t stomach.
She cried herself to sleep every night; she wanted to be thin, pretty and popular.
But, with every attempt to change her appearance, she lost a sliver of her true self. She became obsessed with opinions of those who were never her friends, she sought out ways to impress boys whose hearts drowned in vanity and conceit, and while she tried to fit in with the popular crowd in school, she lost her own identity.
And worse, she became a bully herself.
Her heart became infested with hatred, venom and pride. She spread malicious rumors, wreaked havoc and spawned heartache. The outcome of the cruel game she enjoyed to play trickled into an ocean of tears, agony and pain.
Those years of selfishness, conceit and arrogance had barred the entrance to the enchanted world she had imagined as a child to escape the torment and pain. She never thought she’d find her way back there again until one day.
More years drifted by and the teenage girl became a young woman.
Karma had taught her important lessons: honesty, respect and confidence. After years of wandering aimlessly through a fog of confusion, her heart no longer ached to be accepted by society. Instead, she yearned to travel down the road that no one else had dared to take.
The young woman embarked on a journey to regain her inner peace, but once again she faced harsh criticism. Bitter tongues deemed her originality as blasphemy and instead of showing support, spread malicious rumors and wished her pain.
This time however, the young woman finally found her way back to the enchanted kingdom she had imagined as a child. There, awaiting her safe return was the inner peace that fueled her strength.
The young woman sailed through the hatred, bitterness and criticism with grace. For she learned that she was invincible because she believed in herself and no one but her had the power to tear down her dreams.
The moral of the story is simple, my friends. Remain true to yourself despite the constant jeers, insults and criticism that might get thrown in your face. Remember, bullies thrive on weakness, uncertainty and fear, but have the strength to stand up to those pathetic jerks and fight for your beliefs.
But, remember to speak words of kindness and your heart will always be at peace.