Humans aren’t born with the kind of hatred and bitterness you are showing. I don’t know who hurt you so badly or how you ended up so bitter, but I’m sorry it happened. Angry and bitter is no way to live a life.
How do we throw off our dark glasses and see life’s possibilities? What mindset do we cultivate to create bouquets in the midst of thorns?
This is a silly example, but the principle is the same. When I was younger a friend of mine was planning the most epic 16th birthday ever, everyone was talking about her party, and how great it would be. I was so excited, because she was my best friend and I would get to spend it with her. Then, a few days before the party, my parents told me I could no longer go as they booked me a ticket to a weekend seminar that would advance me to go to a good university one day. I was so angry, bitter and upset.
I didn’t want to speak to my parents, I was going to be the only one that missed this party, I was shattered, selfishly so. Nonetheless I attended the seminar, and met really nice people, I was disengaged and grumpy. I didn’t want to be there so I didn’t talk to anyone or try to make the most of an amazing seminar I was attending. And so, come Monday I dreaded to go to school, because I knew everyone would be talking about the party and I would be left out of the conversation.
When I arrived at school none of my friends were around, I later realized that there had been some issues at the party and all of them ended up in the principals office. It would’ve included me had I been to the party.
Bitterness hangs like a cloud, at the seminar the people tried to engage with me but I was distant and cut off from them. A few minutes into the conversation they could pick up something was off, and they would lose interest and leave.
Have you ever noticed in some people’s company you just feel different, regardless of the conversation or what is actually said? Like they have a bad energy that drags you down, even when they’re trying to be friendly?
I strongly believe that if someone is bitter you will pick it up, you feel that dark cloud of energy hanging around them. And people who are at peace, and content with where they are in their lives and what their circumstances are will have a lighter, better energy around them, drawing people to them.
Whatever is causing bitterness in your life, the first step to healing is to surrender. Pinpoint what is causing you to be unhappy and surrender, because more often than not it will be something you can’t control. Had I accepted that my parents truly had my best interest at heart, and that they were looking out for my future, the entire seminar could’ve been a pleasant, fun and exciting experience where I could’ve met unbelievable new friends, all I had to do was surrender to it.
Once you have surrendered, your next step is hope. For me my hope is in my faith. Back then, I could’ve trusted that my friends would still be inclusive even though I missed the party, and that God had a plan for my life and it was simply playing out as it should. Another person’s hope might be in the ultimate beauty of life despite its troubles. Some people discover hope in the opportunity to influence future generations, or to create something of lasting value.
Without hope, surrender leads to despair. With hope, we are open to possibilities. Good things can happen, and our future can change for the better.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said “We must accept the finite disappointment but never lose the infinite hope.”
One thing that destroys hope is bitterness, and the antidote to bitterness is gratitude.
So the last and most important one of them all, is gratitude.
As difficult as gratitude is when we are in the midst of a hard situation, it is the thing that keeps us from growing a cloud of bitterness. from becoming bitterness itself.
Bitterness is a destroyer. No good comes from it. A bitter spirit spreads its poison and strangles the best within us.
Maybe we aren’t where we expected to be from a career standpoint, or we’re faced with illness, financial stress or relationship problems. We long to be in a different place but at present there appears to be no immediate way out. You’ll have 2 choices, become the bitterness that surrounds you or “bloom where you are planted”.
Gratitude rejoices in life, acknowledges blessings and leaves no room for blame.
In choosing to cultivate gratitude and hope, we produce a life where no dark cloud hangs over us, and we can move forward. Rather than surrendering our dreams, we surrender the things that hold us back from our best life.