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Bitterness is a tough sentiment to digest.
It can take its toll on us to a point where it becomes crippling and a barrier to reaching our life plans and goals.
Well, as they say, to each his own, to each his own battles, to each his own scars, to each his own problems, to each his own red lines not to cross. And when it comes to battles, we have all suffered from betrayal, abandonment, heartache, deception, mistrust, and the list goes on and on.
This leads to the inevitable negative feeling that grows within us—beginning with sadness, helplessness, and feelings of impending doom, leading to the infamous bitterness and resentment.
As this is the circle of life and since we can’t appreciate realness and positive outcomes unless we go through the fires of deception and failure, what is the key to avoid reaching negativity, and how to make it a lifelong lesson to appreciate the good, accept the bad, and move on?
Here are a few steps I have found effective in the process of healing and turning bitterness into a bittersweet taste:
The first and most obvious yet hardest to apply step is to recognize we have been deceived, let down, turned away, or let go of. Seems so self-evident, but when faced with a core-shaking, life-changing situation, the first reflex is complete and utter denial of what is not only right in front of us but what has literally slapped our existence and made us feel like sh*t.
When something bad happens, we tend to take it too personal. But what if we shift our perspective and accept that these negative events can literally hit anyone and that bad things are bound to happen in life? This way, we overcome the problem and don’t get trapped in the vicious cycle of bitterness.
After acceptance comes the dreaded to some, yet inevitable to some others: the confrontation. Confronting a person, a situation, or a condition that was unfair to us and put us in a bad place is crucial. Not necessarily to fix it, change it, or make it better, but confrontation shows strength, a determined character, and it makes the problem lighter and less likely to have a heavy impact on us. Doing this is part of our healing process.
We can’t live in our problems, and we can’t judge every good opportunity as impossible or doomed just because we had bad experiences in the past. Everything we go through will definitely teach us major lessons, toughen us up, and make it harder for us to open up and allow the hurt again. But this cannot prevent us from trying, exploring, loving, trusting, and beginning what might as well be the start of something or someone beautiful in our lives. So, from time to time, it is essential to hit the reset button and begin again.
5. Forgiveness of oneself.
Last, and most importantly, guilt tripping our souls and minds is the ultimate fuel to transform heaven to hell and light burdens to heavy ones. It is eventually the fastest track to reach new levels of bitterness. We all fall victims to many unpleasant situations and that does not necessarily mean we screwed up—even if we did, it is okay. So blaming ourselves and living in a cocoon of self-loathing and feelings of unworthiness lead to nothing but exacerbation of the situation. Let us forgive ourselves and find our inner peace again.
In Lebanon, my country, there is a simple saying that says: “The easier you make things seem, the easier they will be.” To decipher a bad situation, these steps can help us make it lighter with less chances of falling a victim to bitterness and resentment of life and its different curves.