Tag Archives: Public humiliation

You might be a cave person too.

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Starting a blog has opened a pandora’s box of Internet usage for me. Just this week I had my 12 year old daughter teach me how to open an Instagram, use Instagram, insty pic, whatever. And I reopened my Pinterest account with the intent of figuring out how to post without having to ask my daughter how to use it. Some of this stems from the very fact that I have an almost 13 year old. I saw the trailer for Bully, it’s a scary world out there. Have you seen the Pinterest comments lately? Terrifying.

But seriously….Three days a week for the past couple of months I’ve been working with groups of girls around Roanoke city teaching them about how to deal with bullies and how not to be bullies. We’ve talked about anger management and breathing, lots of very cool stuff.   Most of them roll their eyes at me and sigh and look away and do just about anything to avoid engaging with me. But I’ve seen progress. And confidentially I consider myself an expert. I have to. No human could stand up in front of a group of 10-12 year old girls without first convincing themselves they know exactly what they are talking about. They smell fear.

So here I am breathing deeply and talking about getting thoughts out of our reptilian brains 3 days a week, when I am faced with real life bullies. They are not bullying me, but my kids. Nothing gets a mama bear’s hair up on the back of  her neck like hearing somebody being mean to her cubs, uh kids. My immediate reaction is to lash out, put the bully  in her place, make the bully feel small. I totally forget about  giving my child the power to fend for herself  or honoring the hurt that the bully is feeling too. I want revenge.logic and training are the first thing out the door. Oh yeah, reptilian brain… Deep breath, hit backspace…honor the pain. I still wanna punch the little 13 year old twerp in the face. Is this the way Catholic priests feel?

In case you’re worried, I ultimately took the high road.  I believe I did it more out of the threat of repercussions, the possibility of public humiliation than actually believing it was the right thing to do though.  Which is a good feeling to recognize and honor. But its funny how easy it is to forget how much easier things are on paper. Reality is a whole different beast, reality has feelings.  Doing the honorable thing isn’t always satisfying, but neither is spending the night in jail for bitch slapping someone.   When it comes to my kids, I’m little more than a cave woman. Its good to be reminded of that primal part of myself. And that is exactly why I teach (and practice) to take a deep breathe. Otherwise instinct is in control and in the wild mamas protect their young.   I’ll bet many of us  share that, those of us stuck in our reptilian brains and those of us taking deep breaths soon enough to remember how important it is to set the bar higher than cave people.
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