'You should fight back. Don't take any bullshit.'
I've often been told this in my early school years. The world of kids can be ruthless. Kids gang up, kids speak their mind, kids make fun, and kids don't hesitate to exploit another's fearfulness. But I was an easy-going kid. I wasn't pushy. I didn't get easily shaken up, but I didn't do anything to resist or give 'it back' either. I was a 'chiller'.
I just didn't know how to fight back. I didn't know how to be aggressive. I still don't. I'm not passive either. I just take it in and process most of it inside me. But there is a part of it that lingers. It comes back to make me think 'maybe I should have given him a knock on his head back then'. With passing time, I'm getting better at processing these leftover emotions.
It's not my nature to initiate or respond to aggressive behaviour. My nature is to be silently assertive.
When I respond from my own nature, when I'm true to who I am, I feel comfortable and strong. If you push me to fight, and it's not my nature to fight, it creates a lot of stress for me.
Now I see this in my own kids. It's not their nature to fight back and assert themselves. They are not pushovers, but they won't bother fighting. And often they have tears in their eyes because someone has been a bully and did something 'that is not fair'.
They'll come and cry in my arms for a few moments.
I used to do it earlier, but I've learnt not to push them to fight back. I'm learning to accept their nature the way it is. I can't change it.
If I just accept their nature for what it is, I find that they draw strength from me.
I don't carry sympathy for them. I don't feel or say 'oh you poor thing'. I try to feel their hurt along with them, and just hold a silent and accepting space for them. When I do that they draw tremendous peace from me.
I try not to (it takes effort) rush to give them a solution of what to do, or how to fight back. I just ask them 'what do you think should be done?' When I do this they draw tremendous clarity from me.
And the amazing part is, when I do this, I draw strength, peace and clarity from them!