To the teen who is bullied

This is part of a series of letters to those who may feel lost. Sometimes when we are down, discovering something in the mailbox is just the thing.

It reminds us that we aren’t as alone as we think.

Wet paint thrown onto white paper.

Today I write to a young woman who faces shameless cruelty each day. The torture she endures shakes the very foundation of her individual worth – a worth of value beyond imagination but denigrated into dust that disappears in the violent winds surrounding her.

Let’s call her Lily.

Dear Lily,

The very, very, very first thing I want you to read is this:

YOU ARE VITALLY IMPORTANT. YOU ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR. I AM SO DEEPLY SORRY THAT THIS IS HAPPENING TO YOU. YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DESERVE THIS VINDICTIVE VENOM.

I’m going to repeat that last part: You absolutely do NOT deserve this vile bullying.

Though unimaginable, I am aware that you have received messages of “you should just kill yourself.”

There are not emotions to express the horror felt by such a cruel and completely UNTRUE use of the written word.

discouraged4If I could, I would open the eyes and minds and hearts (which seem tightly closed right now) of those who are hurting you. They would see, and understand, and feel the shame worthy of their crimes.

Someday, they will.

But that doesn’t help much today, does it?

It surely feels like there is nothing that can actually help today.

And tomorrow.

And the next day.

And what about beyond that?

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Well, that’s most likely too painful and overwhelming to even think about.

That can be a pretty dark place to find yourself.

So, let’s turn on as many lights as we can.

How about the “mom and dad” light switch? The “best friend” light switch? The “bishop/youth leader/Sunday school teacher” light switches?

You know much better than I just exactly the sources of light that you have.

Or can get.

The really critical point is this: you need to hear and feel EVERY DAY from these sources of light.

candlesThese warm lights can drown out those nasty little deviant gossipy whispers and replace them with clear and true declarations of just how wonderful you are.

The battery life on the good reinforcements, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be as strong as those of the hurtful lies.

So recharge your lights as many times a day as possible.

It sounds silly, I know, but talking it out at the end of each day before you try to close your eyes for another round of restless sleep is one of the best ways to recharge.

Here’s the message that I want you to repeat over and over and over in your mind as you drift off to sleep:

YOU DESERVE TO LIVE EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE. YOU DESERVE TO ACCEPT AND FEEL THE LOVE OF THOSE AROUND YOU.

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Kasha Kush Facebook Post

And most important:

FOR EVERY HORRIBLE PERSON WHO DOESN’T KNOW YOU AND IS CRUEL, THERE ARE SO MANY MORE WHO DO TRULY KNOW YOU AND ARE ON YOUR SIDE.

When things get rough for me and it seems easier to just let go of it all rather than hold on, I remember that we’ve been taught:

Men are that they might have joy.

Lily, you are that you might have joy.

Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

Day Lilly

We need you.

I know it’s hard, but don’t let anyone take you away from us.

Just live Lily. Just live.

One day at a time.

Greg

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