I was talking to my son yesterday and there is this kid that is bullying him at school. Nothing too horrible, just a kid who gets his jollies from being a dick to my son. Not just my son, but still.
My son is handling it well. He sees that it isn’t really about him. It is all about this other kid. I was impressed with the insight that my son had about this other kid. And how the anxiety being created for my son is his to deal with and how he sees that so long as his internal conditions are set on everything outside him being ok, then he is always going to be anxious and scared.
I wish I would have known that at 16...hell, 35 would have been a significant improvement. My journey has taught me that lesson more deeply and well at 51. I am happy to have learned it at all, really.
I feel like being able to help my kids see this kind of stuff is the best thing I can do as a parent. Helping them see that their own interior landscape is theirs to conquer and with that conquest being tackled hard and early, then life gets so much easier. So helpful to know young what is yours and what is theirs...
My son and I talked about this other kid and what might be going on with him. Compassionate reflection that did not let the kid skate on his shitty behavior but allowed for some compassionate reflection.
What I shared is what I have come to know, that all outward ugliness is a result of an inward ugliness. That is my truth. That is my reality. That is how I choose to see the world. If someone is being awful to me, it is because they are suffering inside. It is not necessarily my job to do anything about that fact, it really depends on the circumstances. If it is a close relationship, perhaps I need to set a boundary for myself. If it is a passerby person that I will never see again, I make a real effort not to pick up their negative energy and allow it to permeate me.
I am so sorry that my son has someone in his life that is being ugly to him. I am proud that my son is standing up for himself and isn’t taking any crap. But I am most happy that my son can see and experience that it isn’t him. This other boy’s issues are his own and that my son allowing them to derail him or make him feel bad, only allows his other boy’s issues to become his. And as my very wise son said yesterday, “hell no, I am not allowing him to get to me! I have enough problems of my own, I do not need this kid’s issues too.” So true, my wise child. So very fucking true.