Editors' Note: Guest blogger Nicky Rolland is a spiritual teacher and author. She just released her new book "Stepping into Consciousness: A Guide to Living a Life of Meaning, Joy and, Abundance" and holds a Bachelor in Commerce from Concordia University.
Most of us will be bullied, bully or watch someone be bullied at some point over the course of our life. It often happens in childhood, like it did for one of my daughters, but it can also happen in adulthood - as it did for me. However, when we are honest with ourselves and understand what bullying really is, we realize that the bullying syndrome is something that we each collude with every day in some form or another. Bullying will continue to plague our lives, as long as we continue to point fingers and accuse, rather than take responsibility for the part we each play in propagating the bully pattern.
Below are five facts about bullies so we can move beyond judgement and fear.
FACT 1: Bullying Is All About Playing with Power
Bullying happens when someone attempts to take someone else's power. So long as there is an equitable give and take of power, the play is fair. I take from you and you take from me. At the end of the game neither has compromised their power. However, it becomes unfair when one person abuses their power and takes more than the other person is willing to take back in return. This happens when one party is more vulnerable, for whatever reason, than the other person.
As conscious people it is our responsibility to manage our own power and not take advantage of situations where we seemingly hold more power than others. As parents, bosses, teachers, family bread earners, government officials, etc., we each find ourselves in situations where we have the opportunity to abuse our power or not.
Fact 2: People Are Hungry for Power
The pursuit for power becomes an addiction when we look for it outside of ourselves. We do this when we believe that the constructs of the ego such as wealth, status, titles, or other confer power and define who we are. When we do that, we live in a place of lack and fear. We believe we do not intrinsically have within us all we need to thrive. As a result, we believe we need to take from others.
Managing our ego - learning to honor it for the positive role it plays in our life while understanding that it does not define who we are - is key. When we are connected to who we truly are, we realize that power comes from within. We all have access to the same power.
The belief that power comes from outside of us is the root of the whole bully syndrome. True power comes from within.
Part of my spiritual journey involved experiencing what it felt like to release the ego. That was a time I became very vulnerable. Today, my ego is back in my life but no longer as a controlling tyrant but rather as a loyal pet - a pet that knows when it is needed and when it is not.
Fact 3: Power Hungry People Prey on the Vulnerable
People who are hungry for power will take advantage of those more vulnerable and exposed. They may or may not realize what they are doing. In my experience as a mother, I experienced teachers bullying students, parents bullying children, children bullying parents, parents bullying parents, and parents bullying teachers.
As conscious adults we need to be aware of our power. As we become more conscious and more loving, we feel more powerful. In reality we do not hold more power, we simply become aware of the power we already carry.
As we become more conscious, we become aware of our own unlimited pool of internal power.
Fact 4: There Is No Need to Point Fingers
If we want to get over the all too often debilitating consequences of the bully syndrome, we need to each take responsibility and be honest about how we collude with it. It all starts with embracing our inner bully and understanding the role it plays in our life. Like our ego, our inner bully needs to be managed. Our bully makes things happen in our life, but it can easily get out of control. As we honor that part of ourselves, we are much less likely to bully, be bullied or witness bullying. We need to release judgment.
Fact 5: There Is a Solution to the Bully Syndrome
As long as we continue to believe that we do not have all the power we need already within us, there will be bullies. As long as we feel we are not worthy enough to manage our own power, there will be victims. Once we realize that we are all equal, there will be no more need to bully and there will be no more need to be bullied. The fact is, we are all bullies at times, we are all victims at times, and we are all witnesses at times.
We cannot prevent others from committing horrible crimes of violence that take bullying to the extreme, but in small and very meaningful ways we can each begin by taking responsibility for the way in which the pattern plays out in our life. As more and more of us release fear, step into our power, and listen to our heart, we learn to rely on our own resources to shine our light as bright as we can.