Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Do You Let the Bitterness Go? (Read Time: 3 min.)

Are you still bitter about what someone else said, did or did not do in the past?

Are you still hanging on to some sense that you've been jipped or robbed of what you "should" have been given?

Is there a piece of you that wonders why things seem to go according to plan for everybody but you?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, guess what? Bitterness has found a place within you... and it's occupying space in your head rent free.

It's time to give bitterness an eviction notice!

I was watching a sermon by T.D. Jakes the other day and he said three points that were so powerful:

1. "Scornful people see everything as negative."
2. "Rejected people are dangerous."
3. "You cannot afford to get bitter because if you get bitter, you can't get better."

I could stop right there and you'd have a gold mine of wisdom but there's more that needs to be said. Any time you allow your anger about a situation to become the prolonged resentment of your life, you are operating in a space that cannot and will not succeed.

Far too often, we think our bitterness poisons the people we feel bitter towards when, in actuality, it kills our dreams from the inside out. You cannot live on fire and be your best if all you can think about is how other people have caused you to be at your worst.

What you focus on grows.

At some point, you've got to make a decision to be bitter or to be better but you cannot be both at the same time.

How do you let the bitterness go?

1. Recognize that the bitterness is doing way more damage to you than it will ever do to the person or people you feel bitterness for. Bitterness is a poison that kills from within. When you look around and notice that the people you're upset with have moved on and are enjoying their lives, you start to realize that the only person who's upset and stuck in the past is you... and you made that choice. Any choice you can make means you are free to choose differently in any moment. Now is as good a time as ever.

2. Stop expecting people to show up differently than they have been. When you release the need to have people show up in the way you "need" them to, you also release the power you've turned over to them. Let people be who they are and accept them as they are. When you do that, you free yourself to be happy no matter what anybody else says or does.

3. Every time you feel even a hint of bitterness, ask yourself, "Is this thought beating me up or building me up?" The right answer will jump at you. If the thought is beating you up, make a conscious decision to change the thought to anything that is peaceful, powerful, and involves you being joyful. The more consistent you get at doing this, the less you'll think bitter-filled thoughts.

4. Forgive yourself and everybody else. At some point, your bitterness is about you feeling like you didn't know better. It's about you feeling as if you've been tricked, as if you weren't smart enough to see the truth. At some point, before you ever forgive ANYBODY else, you have got to forgive you. Take a moment to get in a mirror, look yourself in the eyes, and say the following affirmations from Louise L. Hay:

"I am willing to forgive myself and others.

Forgiveness is a gift I give to myself.

I forgive and I set myself free."

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