letting go of bitterness
The older we get, the more experiences we accumulate. It’s easy to become racked with bitterness over what “should” or “could” have been, to play back our mistakes like a never-ending reel, and to hope time will help us forget. We languish in those feelings, allowing them to control how we feel about ourselves. We also look forward to the day when it (whatever “it” is to you) will no longer dominate our thoughts. The truth is, it isn’t time that heals all. The day you begin healing is the day you decide to turn the bend and shed the frustrated, sad, regretful emotions. Time doesn’t dictate when you get over something. You do.
It’s way easier said than done. We have attachments to our feelings. Maybe it’s hard to let go because those emotions allow us to pretend something could change - feeling hurt or angry can goad us into revisiting the past or trying to restore the old equilibrium. After all, moving on is like closing the door. Or perhaps we’ve been hurt or angry for so long that the bitterness has become part of who we are, and letting go of it would be like abandoning a piece of ourselves. Do you know who you are without those negative feelings driving you? Personally, I used to carry a lot of anger, and when I finally realized I could let go of it, I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t continue to be who I am. The beauty of recognizing how much power you have to mold your thoughts, feeling, and experience is that you can prune yourself to your liking. Simply put, you have the ability to choose what motivates you - don’t let it be frustration or bitterness.
You’re whole without your pain. It, whatever “it” is, still happened to you, even if you decide not to be emotionally affected by it anymore. Recovering and moving on doesn’t make the event less sad, unjust, or infuriating. It doesn’t absolve the offending party, if one exists, from guilt. It doesn’t make you weak or powerless. On the contrary, learning to rise above your own pain and exercising your ability to choose your response will make you the strongest you’ve ever been. Allow it to be.
This week, practice being okay. There is some tight fist inside of you holding onto that thing - loosen its fingers. You can do it.