Fear of the inner bully – I feel that the thing we fear most about confrontation is the possibility of the ‘inner bully’ coming out. So take a moment now to think about that, because the fear of the ‘inner bully’ is related to a value judgement that we’ve placed on ourselves as being ‘good’ people. What we see as the inner bully is alive and always there, but because we see ourselves as good people, we cannot bring ourselves to that place. We repress this energy, because we have slapped a judgement on it. We’ve judged it as being a bully, but it’s not really a bully but our empowered self. Again, try to remember that the ‘bully’ energy has a light and a shadow side. The shadow part is the domineering bully, and the light part is the empowered and self-assertive part. We see bullying as a bad thing, but that energy has another aspect, which is the aspect of legitimate, natural power that holds its own while at the same time respecting others.
Bullying is a part of the human experience, and when we are first learning to be in our power and to create boundaries, we need to try it a few times in real life to see how far we can go with it. For instance, if I have never seen a candle before in my life, and I go, ‘OMG, look at that!’ and I burn myself, I then think, ‘I have burnt myself ... candle ... not good.’ This opportunity has given me the chance to learn that if I touch a candle, I may burn myself. Now the candle is not a bad thing in itself, even though it has a flame. But if I don’t know that if I touch the flame, I will burn myself, then I need to learn that by having the experience. When we come into this world we may come equipped with a sense of self-power, but we also come without an instruction book and may not know what to do with our power. Now that power we have is like the candle, and sometimes we abuse our power and others are burnt by us. People may tell me, for example, ‘Listen, when you do that, it hurts my feelings.’ So then I think, ‘OK ...’, but that doesn’t make me bad, because I’m exploring and learning how to use my power. So, again, the idea is not to judge the behaviour but to look at the wound. Someone who is a bully is not an inherently bad person. They are abusing others emotionally, mentally or physically and behaving in a destructive way, and something needs to happen to change that. But we need to acknowledge that at some point we have all been controlling or manipulative. It may have been the smallest thing, as it doesn’t have to be big, but it is all part of our experience in life and of how we learn.