Relaxation for Adults Recovering from Childhood Bullying
This guided imagery meditation script is for adults recovering from childhood bullying. The exercise involves affirmations to change the negative self-concept and self esteem problems that can be present in adults who experienced childhood bullying.
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** Please note: the relaxation script that follows is for people who have experienced bullying in the past. If you are being bullied now, please take steps to protect yourself by contacting the authorities such as those in charge at your school, community, or workplace, or by contacting the police. You do not need to tolerate being bullied. Ensure you take action to keep yourself safe. **
Begin by finding a comfortable position and starting to relax. Close your eyes, or focus your gaze on one spot in the room.
Take ten slow, deep breaths.
Breathe in...and breathe out as I count...one...
Take another breath...six...
Take a deep breath...eight...
Continue to breathe slowly and comfortably. In a moment, I will ask you to you count five breaths at your own pace. Once you reach five breaths, you can stop counting, and simply rest...relax...being calm and still.
Go ahead and begin counting each breath out...five slow breaths.
Allow your body to relax...letting go of tension...letting every muscle go limp, loose, and relaxed. (Pause)
Now as you relax, acknowledge the thoughts or beliefs that may have been present for you as a result of childhood bullying.
Bullying is a form of abuse that can be harmful physically, mentally, and emotionally. Bullying can occur in a variety of forms. It can involve put-downs such as teasing, mocking, name-calling, intimidation, and making fun of the victim. Bullying can also involve physical aggression or unwanted physical contact such as pushing, pinching, throwing objects, and physical assault. Bullying may involve the victim’s property (for example, stealing and vandalism). It may occur as social pressure, for example, ostracizing or exclusion, rumors, or encouraging the victim to do unwanted acts. Basically, bullying is unkind or unwanted treatment, actions, language, or contact that is exercised toward or withheld from a person against that person’s wishes.
Perhaps you experienced these or other types of childhood bullying, or bullying in adolescence or adulthood. You can recover from bullying. You can improve your self esteem and confidence despite negative experiences. Whether you experienced mild bullying, such as occasional teasing, or severe bullying, you have the ability to recover.
Recovery from bullying means that you are no longer limited by fear and anxiety and you are able to enjoy life with confidence and self respect. Recovery allows you to realize that not everyone will bully you, and in fact, you can take steps to keep yourself physically and emotionally safe. You can build positive relationship networks, filled with people who treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve.
Bullying can result in the victim believing a number of lies, such as, “I am not likeable." Bullying can be very painful and hurtful, even years after it occurred. It is important to remember that the hurtful words and actions of bullies were not your fault. Bullies tend to say things that are not true or to present things in a distorted way.
For example, if a bully told you “you have a pointy nose," it is possible that the bully simply made this up, and that your nose was actually round rather than pointy. Or, perhaps your nose was an angular shape. In this case, the lie that you may have believed as a result of the bully saying that you had a pointy nose is that there is something wrong with having a pointy nose. In this way, bullying can result in you believing lies, or assigning some sort of moral or personal value to things that do not matter near as much as you thought they did.
Let’s take a few moments right now to focus on truth. Recovering from childhood bullying involves replacing hurtful lies with the truth so that you can feel good and move forward.
Listen to each statement that follows. Repeat the statements if you want. Accept each statement as being true for you, realizing that even if the lies feel feel true, they are lies, and even if these true statements do not feel true yet, they are reality. Practice these true statements to become more and more familiar and comfortable with the truth, and change the perspectives that were a result of childhood bullying.
I am okay as I am.
I am likeable.
I am a loveable person.
I am significant and worthwhile.
I have the ability to create more positive experiences in my life.
I choose to spend time with people who treat me with kindness and respect.
I deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
I deserve to be treated kindly.
My behaviors reflect the behavior I want to see in others.
I smile at strangers to greet them.
I have the expectation that people will be kind and accepting.
The bullying I experienced is part of what made me who I am today. I choose to learn and grow from the past experiences and not to let the memories hurt me anymore. I am safe now.
I respect others, and I respect myself.
People like me.
I am an interesting person.
I enjoy spending time with people.
I have so much to offer, and much to contribute.
I am confident in social settings.
I like myself, and people like me.
I respect myself, and people respect me.
My kindness toward myself and others makes the world a better place.
Good. Now take a few moments to relax. Change your mental programming to reflect an attitude of confidence. Encourage thinking that shows your success in recovering from childhood bullying. What kinds of thoughts reflect the truth?
Think of your own healing affirmations, and repeat them.
Now just relax. Take a few deep breaths as you allow the experience of repeating affirmations to heal you...and to sink in...replacing the old lies with truth...healing...recovering...recovering from childhood bullying.
Okay. There is one more thing that I would like you to do, that will help with the process of recovering from childhood bullying. This part might be the hardest. It is forgiveness.
It may sound crazy to forgive the bullies who hurt you and who were so cruel. Even though they may not deserve your forgiveness, forgiving them will help free you from the the hurts of the past.
Forgiveness does not mean you are saying that what they did was okay. Bullying is not okay. You did not deserve to be bullied, and the bullying was wrong. Your feelings are valid, and the hurt you experienced was real. Forgiveness means becoming free from the past by no longer holding the anger, resentments, and hurt. Setting the bullies free sets you free.
If you want to do this exercise in forgiveness, you may choose to simply say to yourself, “I forgive the people who bullied me." You might want to name each bully who comes to mind and forgive each one individually.
Or you may choose to say a prayer of forgiveness.
Example prayer: “Heavenly Father, I confess that I have been holding onto resentment toward bullies from my past, and that it is difficult to forgive. I ask for your forgiveness for holding onto resentment, anger, and lies. You know my heart and you know the experiences I went through. You know exactly how I felt and how I am feeling now. I forgive the bullies who hurt me. I give this up into your hands, and I ask for your help in releasing the bullies and letting them go. I pray for healing, and I ask you to replace the lies I was believing with the truth, because you are truth. Fill me with your truth and your Holy Spirit, and heal me from the bullying I went through. In Jesus’ name, Amen."
Say whatever kind of prayer or affirmation you choose in order to forgive if you are ready to do so. Allow yourself to be set free.
Take a few moments now to just relax...experiencing freedom...
Keep the feeling of freedom with you. You are safe. You are free. You are recovering from childhood bullying more and more every day. Becoming stronger and stronger. Calm. Confident. Free.
When you are ready, allow your mind and body to return to full alertness and wakefulness.
Stretch if you want to, and take a deep, rejuvenating breath.
Open your eyes and sit quietly for a few moments, reflecting on the relaxation and affirmations you experienced.
When you are completely awake and alert you can return to your day, calm and relaxed.