I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
I also believe that some people come into your life to show you what you do not want to be in this world.
There was a point in my life when I would allow such people to eat at my core – they became like finger nails on a chalk board – their negativity was toxic.
Over the years I have been blessed with a new perspective. Not only do I no longer allow these people to be part of my world, I no longer hold a space of resentment, but rather of gratitude for the life lesson they bestowed upon me.
They have been a great teacher on how I want to live my life, how I want to treat the people around me – and how I choose to be viewed by my tribe.
I am now liberated to have the strength to no longer allow these people to have such power over me.
And I forgive them.
My son has encountered such a situation over the past couple months. There is one student in particular who is mean, vindictive, and has set his sights on making my son’s life a living hell.
Initially, we reacted in anger, allowing the toxicity of the situation to encompass us.
There have been many tears, derogatory comments, and frustration beyond comprehension.
There has been a balance of giving my son the tools to handle this situation, and stepping in as a parent to intervene on his behalf when needed.
The conversations on this situation have been draining to say the least, as I have struggled to handle this in an appropriate manner, while all I really wanted to do is have a nice little one-on-one conversation with this other child.
But over time, we have begun to understand that this child has been a gift to us and has showed us what it means to treat people with respect and what true leadership qualities encompass.
He has become a life lesson.
You see, as this situation continues to unfold, we are beginning to move to a space of understanding and sympathy.
For this child has not only targeted my son, he has fallen prey to a life of “all about me.” He has taken a role of leadership and turned it into a dictatorship. He has lost friends and the respect of his peers along the way.
All while the adults in his life are allowing it to happen – my son is not the only victim.
This child has given my son an amazing opportunity to grow and to witness these qualities of life that no one should aspire to.
He is now better equipped to deal with these tough situations when he gets older – as there will always be adults who exhibit these same traits.
As a parent it is difficult to witness our children going through such a trying situation. My first instinct was to shelter him and to step in on his behalf.
But the growth he has experienced has been amazing and for this I am grateful.
Little did this child know that by treating my son this way, he has empowered him to be stronger and more confident than ever.
And in the end, my son will be better versed to serve this world from a space of love, compassion and acceptance.
So the next time you encounter a bully or that one person who makes you unable to catch your breath – thank them for that small piece of perspective and be grateful for the example of what you do not want to be.
PS. Do you have that someone in your life – that perfect example of why you are going to be different?