An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.I try not to get bitter. It is hard, because I feel powerless. I cannot change other people. I cannot force them to apologize for the pain they have caused me. I cannot force them to answer my questions, explain, tell their story. I cannot make them communicate with me.
I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die.
I have struggled with these feelings many times. It is as if there are two wolves inside me.
One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger,for his anger will change nothing.
Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."
"Bitterness is the result of powerlessness in the face of anger."
-- Dr. Irene
"...bitterness is how we feel when we believe others have wronged us"
"Second, bitterness is personal. It is the nearness not the enormity of the sin that makes us bitter."
"Third, bitterness is into details and it remembers everything."
"The first thing is to acknowledge that my bitterness is my sin. I own it. The other person's sin isn't the issue."
"...the first thing we need to do is stop and thank God for revealing to us a reality that had previously escaped our notice."
-- Lawrence Kelley
"Bitterness is a state of mind similar to resentment. Implacableness, severity, keenness of reproach or sarcasm, arrogance, deep distress, grief, anger, contempt, slander, bad temper, lack of joy; are some of the ways that bitterness shows on our life."
"Bitterness will make us to be disrespectful, angry, depressed, rebellious, distressed, harsh, sad, full of an unending grief..."
"The more we think about that what make us sad, angry, bitter, the more sad, angry and bitter we will become, because we are not looking for the solution, we are feeding on the problem"
- Edith A. Lee
" [anger, deep hurt, bitterness] seem really based out of something deep within us that wants to not see ourselves as the 'loser'. We see 'them' in our minds as they go off happily in their little sunset.
And that is where the real problem lies. We keep seeing it as 'us' vs 'them'... ...the true heart of this is that you are still concentrating on 'them'."
- First Wives World
"Bitterness is a frozen form of latent anger and resentment. Bitterness grows out of our refusal, to let go when someone or something is taken from us. Bitterness is being constantly hurt by a memory and is holding onto a hurt until it has a hold on you... ...Whatever the cause, bitterness grows out of unreleased loss."
"Bitterness hurts us. Bitterness is an emotional suicide. Bitterness is drinking poison while hoping the other person will die. It is a very slow form of destroying one's peace of mind. It prolongs the hurt and it makes us miserable... ...It will always hurt ourselves more than it will hurt the other person."
"Bitterness and resentment starts growing from denial or rejection followed by shock and/or numbness, guilt, shame, depression, anger and grieving."
"Feeling bitter interferes with the body's hormonal and immune systems... ...Studies have shown that bitter, angry people have higher blood pressure and heart rate and are more likely to die of heart disease and other illnesses."
I cannot control other people. I cannot force them to do the right thing.
I have to forgive them for hurting me, doing wrong things, making wrong decisions. I have to forgive them to get rid of bitterness. I have to forgive them to be free.
I have to focus on me and not them. I have to give me what I deserve, and not expect that from someone else. I will never get an explanation, an apology nor a farewell. I have offered all these things to them. I have done right by me. I have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to explain, nothing to apologize. I have to let go, stop waiting for things that will never happen, and stop giving them more time, space and peace of mind than they deserve - both the explanation/apology/farewell and to the people who refuse to give them to me. If they some day change their minds, good, if not, who cares.
I have to make a decision to stop poisoning my own life.
I have to take control of my life, my emotions and feelings and my attitude.
I have to start looking forward to my life and all the wonderful things that are yet to come.
I am grateful to God who set me free, even when I didn't know I was entangled and didn't want to be released.
I have to look at these people - me included - with kindness and tolerance and sympathy and mercy, and let us all go. Especially me myself. They are not holding me, I am.
Yes, it was wrong what they did.
Yes, they hurt you.
Yes, it is right, good and proper to get angry when something like that happens.
Yes, I have the justice on my side. It was not fair, I did nothing wrong, it is them who have to change, repent, apologize, not me.
But it doesn't really matter. This is not a question of who's right and who's wrong. This is a question of my peace of mind. This is a question of me being able to move on and carry on with my life and to live.
I need to learn from this and move on.
I need to stop being codependent. I need to stop looking for other people's approval. I need to learn to set my own borders and keep them. I need to start demanding people respect me, and that I'll do by respecting and honoring myself. I need to stop giving people so much power over me and my happiness. It is my life, I decide.
I need to give myself power in my life. I need to start taking stand and start doing things, empowering myself.
I need to learn to love and support myself and improve my own image of myself.
- 15 ways to improve your low self-esteem (and bad self image)
- 40 reasons to love your body as it is
I am not worthless, I am worth everything in this world I want. And I can - and will - give me everything I want. Everything.
God is good and Enough. There is enough in the world. I have enough of everything, EVERYTHING. I just need to learn to see it.
I am beautiful, brilliant, intelligent, funny, lovely, sweet, adorable, I am amazing, wonderful and delightful. I am innocent, sensual, creative, skillful and beautiful. I am beautiful, inside and out. I am beautiful.
I need to find serenity, learn to insist and persist with right things and let go of wrong things. I cannot control people, weather, circumstances, but I can control my own thoughts, attitudes and actions.
I need to learn to control and express my anger in a productive, creative and constructive manner, and not turning it into self-blame, self-hatred and bitterness.
I need to start focusing on the good in me, in future and the promises of the future, my dreams and what makes me happy and stop focusing on my problems, more or less imagined lacks, wrongdoings in the past, my fears and what makes me sad.
I need to start appreciating myself enough so that I seek for the company of people who wish to enjoy it and ignore the people who don't want my company either. There is plenty of people in the world who find me worth knowing, so I don't need to hang on people who don't.
I need to start caring about the people who care about me, and stop wasting my thoughts, resources and ideas on people who don't. I won't be buying anyone's approval anymore.
I need to transcede my history of abuse. It is history. It will never come back again. I can walk away from it. I can walk away from all the people who are abusing me in any way or manner. I don't need to stay. I don't need to allow anyone to abuse me.
I need to start minding my stress. Tai chi works. It works better than serenity prayer or any other mantra, breathing in a square etc. Tai chi works.
I need to start doing things. The more I do, the more I achieve, the more I express my abilities and give them space to blossom, the better I feel about myself and the harder it is to hurt me.
I need to teach myself to persist, not to give up, not to quit, but to work, one step at a time, fifteen minutes at a time, and finish what I start.
I need to start doing things that make me happy.
I need to start doing things that scare me.
I need to stop comparing me to others and to what I was or what I am in my fantasies, and start loving myself as I am, here and now. I am a good person. I don't deserve to be abused. So I need to stop abusing myself.
I need to count my blessings, and keep counting. And they are many. :-)
I need to put my suffering in the perspective - Yes, I have suffered, but I am not the only one. And it could have been worse. A lot worse.
Your loyal friend betrayed you? Well, he wasn't loyal, because he betrayed you, and he wasn't your friend because he wasn't loyal. So what did you lose? A stranger turned his back on you and went on his way. One could say he did you a favor, because he left you be and gave you clarity.
-- Maria Jotuni