“You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate; it belongs to you.” ~Josh Shipp
“Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet, through Love all that is copper will be gold, through Love all dregs will become wine, through Love all pain will turn to medicine.” ~Rumi
“Beware of those who steer you away from your heart’s true happiness. It would make them happy to see you steer yourself right next to them, sitting with both your hearts bitter.” ~Suzy Kassem
I have yet to meet anyone who has had a perfect life. Let’s face it, life certainly has its challenges!
While there are so many things to be grateful for, there are just as many things that we can choose to complain about or to resent, causing us to become bitter people.
We do have a choice in how we react to life and all that it entails—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Life is complicated because people are complicated. We are all born into a certain set of circumstances. Some people believe we choose those circumstances (including all the people in our lives) and we do this for our soul’s growth.
Whether or not you subscribe to this belief, the fact remains that you have a choice on how you respond to everything that shows up in your individual life. This includes your past, present and future.
What I have come to learn and experience is that holding onto resentments and pain from the past only makes us bitter and creates a bitter present and future to match it.
So what can you do to become better and not bitter from your past and present?
Here are 5 suggestions that I have found extremely helpful:
This is a tough one for many people. Somehow they feel that arguing about whether something should have happened or not is actually going to change it.
The fact is things happened and once we accept the reality of what has or is happening we can put our energy and focus towards healing and moving forward. Arguing with reality is a sure-fire way to stay stuck and bitter.
No matter what has happened or is happening in our lives we need to look at it and take responsibility for our part in it. Even if our part was only 5%, recognizing and taking responsibility for our part is empowering; it can take the focus off others and put it onto ourselves. We can see where we have areas that need healing or improving. This is how we can become better people.
Without responsibility, we are merely victims and this will always lead to a feeling of bitterness.
Find the Lesson or Gift
I have come to learn and believe that everything we experience does come with a lesson or gift. We may not see it right away because the emotional pain may be too strong. Over time, however, we can see through the cloud of pain to find a lesson or gift no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
For example, when my mother died, I was able to learn so much about my own health emotionally and physically. It was this learning that quite frankly has saved my own life. Through her death, she gave me the gift of a longer life.
To forgive others is to let go of the pain attached to whatever hurt they may have caused. To not forgive is to remain at the mercy of their actions or words, chained to them forever as a victim. This does not make us better and will only make us bitter.
We can only become better people when we learn to forgive at a heart level.
Let Go of the Need to be Right
This suggestion is a challenge for most of us. Our ego just loves to be right and will argue with unabashed stubbornness.
At some point, we have all witnessed, or have been a part of, an innocent conversation that escalates to a heated debate and argument leaving anger at exaggerated levels and way beyond what is comfortable. This is a sure recipe for bitterness.
Even if you are right, you can let go of needing to be so and choose to be kind which leads to you becoming better.
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