We are a bitter bunch. Okay, some of us are! Whether it is an unexpected bill, family dilemmas, being dumped or being dehumanized in front of others, bitterness always seems to sneak into our lives. Why are we so addicted to this verbose feeling? “We hold on to the hurt in an attempt to remind ourselves and others of the injustice we’ve experienced in the hopes that someone will save us and restore what we’ve lost,” explained Dr. Gregory Popcak, who directs the Pastoral Solutions Institute. Bitterness likes to thrive during our most vulnerable moments as we strive to seek justice. In that process, we follow a shadowy-lined path towards entropy. Hebrews 12:14,15 reminded us to “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Bitterness may be a life-long battle for some but it doesn’t need to become your manifesto. Here are points on how to handle this antagonist.
Moving forward and working through unforgiveness can help you heal from bitterness. When we are willing to forgive we unleash a prodigious amount of peace in our lives. It opens up channels of communication, hope and unblocks our resistance to change. “A lack of forgiveness tends to build a fortress around us and keep us from participating with friends and family,” author Connie Domino wrote. Holding onto what you or someone else has done is another assault on the mind and body. Acknowledge your frustrations, dismay or cry for a release. But don’t allow unforgiveness to pull the strings on your heart and mind.
1 John 1:9 explained that if we repent and confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us. Allow yourself to feel the emotions during the process if you need to and have it out with God. Jeremiah 29:11 explained: “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Once you finish the step of forgiveness and the step of repentance, there will be a sense of comfort.
Bitterness needs to discharged when we deal with disappointment. Failures happens, people disappoint us and events could crush you. Instead of reasoning why something didn’t work out the way you anticipated or why a person betrayed you, use it as a stepping stone to go higher. When you take tough times to heart it will make it harder to bounce back. Use disappointment as a motivation to tackle the situation from another angle. Life Hack explained: “Every failure experience you have since the most painful events in life often give us the most valuable experiences and dramatic growth.” When you deal with disappointment when it first happens, it prevents bitterness to enter. Try reflecting on God’s promises in exchange for the disappointing thoughts or feelings.
Watch Who You Hang Out With
Don’t hang out with people who are bitter because it will feed the monster. Sometimes we feel that we’ve overcome the feeling of bitterness and move on until we hang out with bitter people. Do yourself a solid and refrain from being with people who only want to gossip and stir the nest up. Protect your inner sanctum by refusing to take part in conversations or actions that lead to bitterness. If someone begins down a dangerously negative path of conversation, take the lead and refuse to interlace. If you want your spirit to be free, cut the ties! Ask yourself if your relationships reflect God and do they bear any fruit? If not, you have the solution.
Don’t Let Bitterness Define You
There is no doubt that people have the capacity to hurt each other. Most of the times our bitterness is justified. We have a choice to allow it to help us arrive or allow it to leave us feeling busted. One gal didn’t allow bitterness to take over her life. Cyberbullies called Lizzie Velásquez the “Internet’s Ugliest Person” because she has a rare congenital disease marfanoid–progeroid–lipodystrophy syndrome that affects and bones and doesn’t allow her to gain weight. As lamentable as this was, she rose above her enemies and didn’t allow bitterness a driver’s seat into her life. “I always tell people I allow myself sad days to be alone and close the blinds and listen to sad music like Adele and cry, eat junk food and have a pity party. I let it out of my system for one day, but the sun comes out the next day I have the power to go on.”
Living a free life doesn’t mean it will be comfortable and bitterness is part of it–if we allow it. Maybe it was a betrayal, traffic or people cutting you off in line that caused bitterness. And yet, it could be something more profound and deeper. Think of bitterness as a slow poison that you take in daily. Why would drink you intake something that could destroy you? No matter if it is in big or small doses, bitterness can be noxious.