I’ve spent much of my life being bitter for one reason or another. I grew up with drug addicted parents and grandparents. My mother had me at 14 and my grandmother raised me. My father has never played a huge role in my life. None of this is new to me. At the age of 25 its pretty much all I’ve known. Even now I do not have a picture perfect life.
On Christmas I didn’t realize just HOW bitter I was until my mother showed up. She had worked Christmas day and was already angry. She came in complaining about EVERYTHING, I am not exaggerating. I cut the turkey to soon, the potatoes were to lumpy, the sweet potatoes weren’t good, I forgot to stuff the turkey, and “why did you cook it all so early?” (dinner was to be done at 3 and it was. Everyone else was late). If she could get upset about it, she did. I got so angry with her so I went to my daughters room to nurse her and cried as I prayed that she not know the bitterness that was in my mothers heart. That she be joyous and happy. And then it dawned on me…. Here I was praying she not be like my mother but often times I have said to myself “man I sound like my mother”. I cried harder. I am just as bitter as she is, but for what reason? Because my life did not go as planned? Because I hit a few rough patches?
So for the last few days I have been doing research, studying, making myself aware of the physical and emotional toll being bitter takes on your body. Did you know bitterness can make you physically sick? Well it can. And then I was trying to think of ways that I could let go of some of my bitterness and learn to “forget”. One of the common traits of a bitter person is that they replay things over and over in their head. I do this frequently. So I came up with a list of things I can do to help. Its small, but even in a few days my husband has noticed a difference. He said “thank you for being patient with me and not getting upset about the little stuff”. Here is my list of 4 things you can do to work through your bitterness.
- Start by evaluating yourself and your surroundings. Are you putting off a happy vibe? Do you constantly talk about everything that is wrong with your life? STOP IT! Complaining is a huge deal for me. I tend to nit pick and complain about everything. “You stirred my coffee the wrong way? How dare you! You should be able to read my mind and KNOW just how I like it! ” Complaining hurts not only you but everyone around you.
- Let it go for good. Did someone upset you? Are you replaying that moment in your head over and over? Let it go, and let it go for good! Show them kindness and move on. You cannot change another’s actions but you can change your reaction.
- Laugh with your child/ren and family. Find things that make you happy and enjoy them often! For me it is making my kids smile. There is nothing more I love on this earth than to hear their laughs.
- Remove the negative people. Bitterness breeds bitterness and it spreads like the plague. Surround yourself with positive and happy people, it is sure to brighten your mood and your life!
Now I know these things are not easy. You cannot choose your family but you can limit your exposure. First, change your mind and your attitude, then change your atmosphere. I cannot tell you it is an easy journey. I cannot tell you exactly how to go about doing these things, what I can tell you is that the benefits are astounding! Start the new year with a new attitude. Let go of your bitterness and make a better life for yourself and those you are around. If I can do it, so can you!