What is bitterness? Bitterness is the state of mind which wilfully holds on to angry feelings and being resentful resulting in hostility towards others. The Bible in Ephesians 4:31-32 states that:
"Get rid of all bitterness, passion and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead be kind and tender-hearted to one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ." (GNB)
I understand that bitterness involves one allowing hurt to grow in their heart, matures and resentment takes root. This can only lead to an unforgiving spirit and negative attitude towards others and mostly the one who is said to have offended or disappointed them. Usually people who are bitter can plot a revenge mission in their heads or even kill someone in their minds hence bitterness should be delt with before it gets to that extent.
People disappoint us every day in so many ways, but holding on to the hurt and resolving to resentment would not improve our quality of life or anything for that matter. The sad truth is that, the one person you resent is probably on a vacation somewhere, enjoying life. They have moved on. Basically, I am saying you are bitter, angry and full of hate but you not doing anyone good but just hurting yourself. I always hear ladies talking about what if a guy hurts you, you can’t just move on. To be honest you can, it only means that person does not deserve you and being bitter will only affect you next relationships.
Bitterness also has a tendency of causing a person to obsess over blaming one’s misery on others. However it has its own cost on a person’s life emotionally, psychologically, socially and even physically. I mean continuous vengeful thoughts day in day out of how you going to get even with that boy or girl or whoever obviously replace good thoughts and prevents you from experiencing the joys of life dwelling on past wrongs inflicted on you.
Correct me if I am wrong, but who would want to be around someone who is distrustful, pessimistic and unhappy? No one! Trust me it’s a lot of work, it’s like making someone else’s drama your drama and that’s draining. People tend to be blinded by bitterness that they forget the role they played in possibly being hurt by another.
There are also circumstances whereby one resents another person because of what they did to their loved ones. For example when a dad abandons his wife and children, the children may grow bitter and resent him.
When I was researching on the topic of bitterness I bumped into something interesting that i didn’t even know myself. Apparently, bitterness has effects to one’s health and it results in chronic depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, changes in metabolism and immune system function. Then I asked myself, why would I make myself sick because of past hurt which I’m still holding on to? Why not just live a healthy life and cultivate healthy relationships. Yes, you were hurt, angry and disappointed but forgiving that person and yourself and letting go of that anger and hate is the best thing you could ever do for yourself.
So I am going to leave this here and hoping it helps someone out there who is trying to free themselves from bitterness and reap the joys of life and healthy relationships. Below are steps that one can follow to overcome bitterness according to Harley Therapy:
1. Serious re-evaluation; what really happened.
2. Put a stop to that story you been telling people.
3. Take full responsibility of your contribution to what happened
4. Stop spying; especially on social media looking into that person who hurt you, trying to figure out if they are happy or not, if they have moved on and with who. That is self torture.
5. Face up to hidden fears; bitterness as a disguise of fear of change or failure.
6. Forgive and at your own pace.
7. Forgive yourself.
8. Step into NOW
9. Branch out; make new connections, re-connect with others, find new hobbies.
10. Set mini goals for yourself that are achievable.
11. Try seeing things from a new perspective and not to be narrow minded.
12. Seek support especially from people who are genuine.
Above all in every step of the way include prayer and meditation of the word of God so that it helps in your healing and transitioning process.