An Open Letter to the Bullies of My Past

Dear bullies of my past,

I don’t know if you remember me, or all the others you hurt. I’m the one you called names, and pushed around the playground like you owned the place. (They were some truly ridiculous names, I might add – I hope you’ve advanced beyond things like “horse nose,” the only one I bothered to remember). I wandered the giant field looking for little white flowers, ladybugs, and butterflies with my small set of friends to keep me company, not harming a soul. I guess my looks were just too much of a disturbance, and you didn’t want me there. News flash: no one really wanted you around with the way you were acting – they were just scared. 

I’m not scared anymore. Truthfully, people love to say the whole “I don’t care what people think of me!” spiel, or the ever-classic “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” The fact we have to say these things shows how we hear you, loud and clear, and remain constantly striving to silence the voices which say we are inferior, dull, ugly, or even incapable of being loved. In all honesty, I will probably never stop occasionally despising the face I see in the mirror, wishing I could trade it for the perfect image on the cover of a magazine, without fault or blemish. 

The point is, I know deep down that you’ll never be able to hurt me the way you did then. I now have faith in something greater than myself which wraps up all of my little flaws and imperfections and guards them like a dear child, beautiful and pure. I hope you find that someday.

I really do wish you the very best. I hope you find a peace that saves you from lashing out at others to help you feel better about your insecurities – and believe me, you’re not alone in this. The face in the mirror is not the only victim of my wicked heart. I stop to think, “I’m not as ugly and weird as that girl, right?” And yes, it’s far, far better than doing what you did; shouting insults as I walked by. However, my thoughts are inexplicably vicious, cruel, and something I must remind myself to avoid every day. 

The scarred, battered face you once sneered at and degraded has come a long way. It was beautiful then, and is even more beautiful now as I slowly come to realize how the scars I wear are merely a sign of my wonderful journey. I love every freckle, the misshaped lumps on my nose, the red scars on my lips, and my oddly flared nostrils that display my uniqueness. (In case you didn’t figure it out, I was born with a cleft lip and palate, which included having only one nostril at birth, so even a “horse nose” is quite a bit of progress in my humble opinion). What I’m trying to say is, I hope you find the beauty in you, too. 

With love,

Dakota

P.S. I don’t know what you believe, and I don’t know your story, but this is the verse that got me through, and I really love its message: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:3-4).” HCxo

P.P.S. I'm super cool now.