You Are So Much More

“I am here to learn right along with you.  You are so much more!” 

I was badly bullied in elementary school. Every single day. 

The bullying occurred mostly by boys. All because they didn’t like the look of the body I lived in.

 I also soon learned, to hate my entire appearance as a whole; my hair, my face, all of it. So much so, that I did everything in my power to try to cover up and change it. Some crazy, and somewhat stupid things, but to no avail, I was stuck with it. From the wild uncontrollable red hair, to what seemed like a billion freckles. So here I was destined -especially in the 70’s attire- to resemble a circus clown. 

My name is Jennifer, back then, I was better known as Ginger or Freckle-Faced Weirdo.

There was one day, in particular, I was in grade four, one of these ‘boys’ actually physically beat me up. Why? All because I was a better soccer player than he was. He said I was “ugly, and a distraction”. So here I was, covered in mud, crying, and in pain. So I left the school without permission and went home. I ended up in trouble the next day by my teacher. The teacher proceeded to not only demean and embarrass me in front of the whole class, but this also got the boys that bullied me all riled up as well. At that point, I’d had enough! I completely lost it, and like a seemingly mad and crazy person, I yelled at the entire class. At the top of my lungs, I screamed, “everyone to just leave me alone!” I also screamed so everyone could hear “they don’t have to like me, and in fact, they don’t even have to look at me, but they all better stop bullying me and leave me the hell alone.” Then I told a class full of wide-mouthed, gaping fourth-grade faces, teacher included, “to just piss off.” Needless-to-say, I got sent home for swearing. The rest of my class got to enjoy free-time. I was okay with that result, because, from that moment forward, I was a changed young lady.

In the days, weeks, months, and years to follow, no matter how hard they tried to bully me, they just couldn’t break me. I would bounce back stronger, brighter, and smarter every single time. I just kept right on learning, getting stronger every day. I focused my energy on being the best possible version of me that I could.

By the time I started high school, I had moved away. I made new, wonderful friends, and I went through a few changes with my appearance; as all of us do. I was more comfortable in my own skin. One could barely see a glimpse of that wounded little girl from way-back-when. It was on a particular day, in grade 9 to be exact, that I had a “run-in” with one of the ‘boys’ of my past at a local party. He walked right on up to me flirtatious as can be. It took everything I had inside of me to not to spit my drink in his face and walk away with laughter, but then I would be stooping to his level. He had no clue who I was, but I knew him all too well. My response was this:

“I would like to apologize to you for what I am about to say, but my heart is so full of love, and light, that I just don’t have any room for the ugly darkness that resides inside of you. In fact, it saddens me to the point that I have pity for you. I pity you for feeling so little and insecure about yourself, that you found it a necessity to torture and bully an innocent little girl, every single day. I pity the fact that you can’t possibly fathom what love feels like, and that you probably never will. I’m okay with that, and I really hope you are too.”

I have to say, I walked away from that encounter feeling pretty darn amazing. It was never even about me, that ‘boy’ didn’t remember, didn’t care what he did, or who I was. But I finally did! We are not here to be known for the skin or hair that we wear, we never were. We are here to be known for the amazingly beautiful soul that we all are, and all that we have to offer this world. We are here to share our strengths and weaknesses with the world, to laugh, cry, and grow. I am here to learn right along with you.  You are so much more! 

So, the next time you are walking down the hall in school, or perhaps eating in the staff room and somebody decides they don’t like your latest look, please grab that insecure feeling and just stop. Pause, look within, and ask yourself, is this really about me? Am I really only some skin, this outfit, or my hairstyle? Or am I so much more than this poor person can’t possibly fathom? Pity them for living in their darkness, pray that someday they too can rise above such silliness and labels. Step fully into the beauty of who you really are; pure, gloriously beautiful, love & light.

My Blind Little Friend

You ugly ginger, you said to little me,

hair wild, and red, freckled from your head to your feet.

It’s not my fault, it’s just the body I live in,

I am so much more than the shell I’ve been given.

I am not my hair or my freckled skin,

I have a beautiful soul, and it lies just within.

I am not the clothes that I put on each day,

we share in my home, that is just our way.

At night I pray, for souls just like you,

that criticize and slay, cause something’s different or new.

I have an amazing gift, that you just do not see,

You’ll find you were better off, just for knowing me.

I am meant to be different, unlike any soul,

it’s what makes me complete, it’s what makes me whole.

I’m not going to deny you, my beautiful light.

you need it more than I do, you’re a pitiful sight.

Your attempt to hurt me makes me more driven,

to share this beautiful gift I’ve been given.

As you look back on this day, my blind little friend,

I hope you will remember that life will one day end.

When you live in judgment and criticize another,

you are damaging your soul, you’ll soon discover.

You will reside in darkness, without the beauty of sight,

Your soul will dim, you will lose your light.

Decide today, that you are more than some bully,

That you are committed to living, your only life fully.

Cause I know you are more than some hair or some skin.

you have a gift to share, your soul within.

As I ‘gingerly’ walk away full of love,

I realize this body fits me just like a glove. 

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