I’ve been asked “Why don’t you play full out in this environment?” Actually, a number of friends have asked me this. They know me, they know that I shine in other arenas in my life. Why don’t I do it here? They want me to shine, here in what is the most important space for me to do so.
I sat with it, I pondered. Why don’t I feel safe enough here in this community, amongst the people that love me and that I love? Eventually it came, at 3am on Sunday morning.
The past few years, I have constantly been giving the message of overcoming prejudice. It is something I am so passionate about that it boils up inside me. My number one value is “the worth of all persons.” You are important and valuable. I live and breath that in everything I do. Yet, I have never been the victim of prejudice. (Well, at least in this life time.) I haven’t experienced that day in day out being treated badly, being pushed aside, being told that you aren’t worthy of just being. How can I truly understand?
No, I haven’t been the victim of prejudice, but I have been the victim of bullying. I don’t talk about this for various reasons and I have no intentions of going into too much detail of the where and when. However, there was this time when I was bullied and I lived with that day in day out for some time. I was bullied for being me. Bullied for being good at what I do. Bullied for being likeable. Bullied for being the leader that the team wanted, when someone else wanted the respect and love that they projected on me.
It wore me down. Eventually I walked away. I was lucky that I had that choice and my family were able to support me in that decision. But I have carried deep scars for quite a number of years. I have not been able to walk back into an environment like that. Suddenly I realised how deep those scars are. They have affected my self-confidence. They have stopped me from playing fully out. They have stopped me from truly stepping into my greatness.
In my life no one else has ever been unkind to me, no one else ever has treated me badly. I have lived a blessed life with the people who come into it. Yet, thinking about this has brought me back to pondering prejudice. This was a short episode in my life which created deep scars. What if I lived with this day-in-day out? What if there was no or little escape from this? What if I was constantly told that that I was not worthy to be in this community or society for just being me? How deeply would that affect me?
We have a chance to start healing and rebuilding lives on those who are broken from oppression and prejudice. We just need to reach out and share a moment with someone who may be hurting. Reach out and share in a Chocolate and Coffee Break. Have a conversation. Share the message that you are worthy. You are worth me spending time with. You matter.