I spent a long time being bitter at certain people in my life. I was confused and angry about the things they had done to me, such as not answering my phone calls, being rude, and not keeping promises. I often tend to hold grudges rather than forgive and forget. It’s a character flaw.
But I spent so much time being angry at these people that it kept me from forming new relationships. It was difficult for me to trust others or my own judgement. I kept to myself. I refrained from making friends out of fear of being shut out again.
Needless to say, I was a loner.
I was unhappy all throughout high school. I didn’t have many real friends as everyone knew what I had gone through in my life and all the things I was dealing with and they kind of took pity on me. College took a positive turn as I made some real, close friends, but let them go for my own selfish reasons. Reasons I myself don’t understand. However, I recently learned from this.
What I took from these events is that if I am forever bitter and hostile toward those that hurt me, I will push away the right people out of fear of being hurt.
So if you are in the same, or similar situation, that I am, there are a few ways to let go of that bitterness and move forward. Because that bitter feeling is only holding you back.
The first thing I had to do was the most difficult, and that was to forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t mean pretending everything is okay and that it never happened. It is simply accepting that it happened and that life must go on. If you hold those bitter feelings in your heart, you will never truly be happy.
Forgiveness is surrendering our desire to get revenge on someone for hurting us.
The second thing to do is decide if the people are worth keeping around. Decide if the problem and relationship are worth mending. If the answer is no, then you should move on. If the person is no longer important to you, the problem or situation shouldn’t be either.
If it is someone you care a great deal about, approach the person in a non-threatening way. Express your feelings without blaming them. Blaming them may cause them to get defensive and make the problem worse. If they are willing to work with you, work through the issue and allow your relationship to progress. Don’t let one incident define the relationship.
The next thing to do is to stop dwelling. Stop replaying the incident in your head over and over. It gets worse with time. If you want the negative feelings to go away, you can’t keep going back to them. You can’t keep picking at a scab if you want it to go away. Allow your mind to gravitate towards more positive thoughts and feelings. Allow yourself to grieve if necessary but understand that at some point you have to move on.
With all of these things, you free your heart and mind from holding onto bitterness. You will be much happier overall and you will be able to form or reform better, lasting relationships. Holding on to past grudges is easy, but letting go of them is so much better.
If bitterness is keeping you from loving and trusting again, I encourage you to take the necessary steps to move on. Whether that is talking to the person or cutting them out, that is a choice only you can make. But don’t let it keep you from happiness. Happiness is exactly what you deserve.
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