Did this title get your attention? Does it sound bitter?
I hope you said “yes” to both because now you may be interested in reading further.
having a sharp, pungent taste or smell; not sweet
(of people or their feelings or behavior) anger, hurt, or resentful because of one’s bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment
Yes. We’ve all been there at one time or another. Whether it’s been with ourselves or others, we have been bitter. One of the greatest prisons we can live in is that of building walls around us and succumb to bitterness. But how do we escape and break free of the chains of anger and hurt from our bitterness? It’s not easy and there’s no one real answer but rather it’s a challenge with many attempts to succeed. How do I know this? Because I know what bitterness looks and feels like. Here are just a few tips that have helped me and maybe help you, as well.
Stop over-thinking the hurt. Stop over-talking the pain. It’s ok and normal to feel some hurt and pain when we experience something negative, but don’t dwell. Don’t retell. Unless you are talking and re-telling through in a therapeutic way, then it needs to stop.
Bitterness is a fermenting of unforgiveness.
We can become intoxicated on our own negativity
and eventually become addicted to our own hurt and pain.
Pray for you and those who hurt you. Prayer is a form of confession. A confession to God of your hurts and releasing your bitterness is surrendering to a positive healing heart.
Just because we forgive doesn’t mean we will forget the pain someone has caused us. But, forgiveness will release us of the pain bitterness has caused. Just because we forgive doesn’t mean we approve of their behavior. But, it does mean we will change our behavior. Forgiveness is more about helping ourselves.
Bitterness has a way of returning and reoccurring. If this happens, focus on the ‘here and now.’ Keep the past in the past. Leave the negative thoughts behind. Focus your energy on striving to stay ‘bitter-free.’ Resist the temptation and put your interest in helping others who may be struggling with issues.
Realize that some people may never change and you cannot control their behavior. But, you can change and control the way you act and react to their negativity.
Sometimes, no matter what you say or do…no matter how many attempts you make, the issue cannot be resolved. If this is the case, it’s perfectly acceptable to seek professional counseling to find helpful alternatives in resolving your struggles.
A heart stained in anger can lead to a life of bitterness. A life of bitterness is lived in the color of monochrome. Monochrome is a place to visit but never a place to stay.
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