She can be really tough, even downright mean at times. She is openly abrasive and does not care what others think of her. She’s going to do what she wants and no one can stop her. She has a “take that, world!” attitude.
The door to her heart is iron clad steel. She has totally closed off so that no one can get in. She will make sure that no one will even want to. She figures that by striking out first, she stays in control. Supposed friends who became bullies did this to her. Openly blatant, bold faced, “let’s Instagram it” middle school rejection created that steel door. She believes no one can hurt her if she is the one doing the hurting.
There is a flaw in her plan. I know something about her that she does not show and I am telling. Are you ready? She is really nice! She is sweet and she cares deeply about others. She has a huge heart and she works very hard to protect it. Sometimes I think she works so hard at being tough that she forgets who she really is on the inside. So I keep telling her. I’ve been telling her for years. I tell her I know she has been hurt and I know she never wants to feel that way again. I also tell her that she matters. Part of being strong is showing who you really are and not backing down. Kindness is not weakness. Kindness is more empowering than toughness. She is beginning to understand. The steel door is opening and she is peeking around to the other side. She is showing her heart and she is seeing that others truly like and enjoy this side of her. True friends, real friends are helping her to feel safe again. She is finding the courage to put her soul on display for all to see and it is simply beautiful to see.
Look for the heart of a tough, angry child or teen. You will likely find the gifts hidden inside.