Calming The Inner Bully
I was bullied from as far back as I can remember. Growing up in a small town in Canada, the kids picked up on the fact that I was different. I dressed nicely, had a sensitive nature, and probably gave off an energy that said “pick on me, I don’t feel good enough.” And pick on me they did…from kindergarten through to high school.
For me, the outer bullying simply amplified the already existing feelings of low self-esteem which ultimately led to an inner bully who was far more powerful and vocal than any external voice could ever be.
There were moments of clarity over the years, a true knowing that I was more than these negative influences, but that pervasive heaviness kept creeping in. I knew on a deep level that I deserved to shine yet felt stunted by a history of unworthiness. Riding the wave between feeling undeserving to being powerful beyond measure, became exhausting. Elation to depression…what a ride.
Eventually I stopped trying as hard. I felt defeated by the negative voices inside which became so familiar that they were comfortable. What most people would view as an enemy, I regarded as a familiar friend and confidant.
The inner bully can be very persuasive. They have you believe that their control is in your best interest and that they’d do anything to protect you. They comfort you and beat you down at the same time so that you believe you’d never survive without them.
The truth is, these inner voices and negative messengers become an addiction of sorts, no different than drugs, alcohol, or gambling. I had become addicted to the sabotage. It was habitual, familiar, and easy. Far easier than feeling good.
Letting go and shedding this old skin hasn’t been easy. Learning to fully love myself exactly as I am was something that I had spent years working on. Being okay and knowing that I am enough took some serious rewiring.
After years on a spiritual and emotional journey of self-discovery, the practice of Breathwork was exactly what I needed. From the very first session, I felt shifts within me that literally blew me away. I released grief, self-loathing, heaviness, and anger, all within an hour. Most of these feelings I didn’t even realize I was carrying. From that moment forward, my life and my thoughts quickly began to change.
How in the world could lying on a mat while breathing, re-program my brain, emotions, and the years of abuse? I wasn’t entirely sure, but one thing I did know is that I was immediately curious, passionate, and hooked!
After my initial session I remember thinking to myself “what just happened and why isn’t everybody doing this?”
More than 2 years later and I am still practicing Breathwork numerous times per week. I now share this life-changing healing modality with anybody who is open. I truly understand that what I spent almost 50 years struggling with, can be released quickly and relatively easily. I knew that I had the secret to help people jump start their journey so that they could live with more ease, joy, and presence than they ever imagined.
I also learned first-hand that instead of pushing the inner and outer bullies away, all I simply needed to do was send compassion, forgiveness, and love. All that any of our tormentors need, is to be heard. They simply want to feel acknowledged.
Being unconditionally loving to those who hurt us, is a wonderful by-product of this practice. Most often, this unconditional love and support begins with us. Learning how it feels to fully embrace, accept and forgive ourselves becomes second nature once you’ve had the Breathwork experience.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging and Breathwork Healer in Los Angeles.
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
To learn more about Breathwork and how it can change your life, visit: