Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Heart Full of Bitterness

I have one. I don't know when it took root. I'm not sure exactly when I realized it was there. I thought it was gone; I really thought I was finished with it. But it came back. I definitely have a heart full of bitterness and I want it gone for good.

I wasn't always this way. Quite the opposite. I was sweet, joyful, loving, and forgiving. I readily let go of past hurts and looked toward a happier future. But something terribly disappointing happened to me about 20-months ago and I just can't seem to move past this hurt.

I'll spare readers the details of what caused this bitterness. Anyone who knows me reasonably well probably knows exactly what I'm talking about. Let's just say that I was hurt in the most spectacularly painful fashion by persons who, one would reasonably expect, should have acted quite differently. I have cried an ocean of tears over this event and it wouldn't be beneficial to rehash it here.

I've tried to be mature and I let these people know how I felt. Their excuses were lame and didn't hold much weight. But I do love them and I believe that I have forgiven them this wrongdoing. So why am I still resentful and why do I seethe with quiet hostility?

I prayed every single night for well over a year to remove the bitterness from my heart. After around 18-months, I publicly declared that my heart was restored. Somehow, in the last two months, I have been seduced back to this ugly state. I've tried to rationalize it. I've tried to ignore it. I've even tried to learn more about it. But nothing has helped make it go away. And I hate it. I hate that I feel this way.

A quick Google search yields a wealth of information about bitterness. It seems that bitterness is emerging as the hot new mental health disorder. That's great, that's just great. I'm actually leading a trend for once in my life and it's for this?!

I've read that suffering from bitterness means many different of things. Among them, I'm holding this emotion on purpose, I'm not a good Christian, my marriage is in trouble, and I'm angry with Republicans - specifically the Bush administration. Hm, I knew I should have finished college to trap some smarts in my noggin. Silly old me just thought it meant that I'm having trouble moving past an extraordinarily painful event. Who knew it had so much hidden meaning?

I don't know how to remove these negative feelings, but I do know that dwelling on them only serves to make them magnify. My life is too good to focus on one terrible event. I know that I have a wonderful life. I have a happy marriage, an awesome husband, and an adorable little boy. My family loves me and I am content. I will not allow my outlook to be poisoned because of other people's thoughtless behavior.

It seems that growth and maturity always comes with tears and frustration. I hope that I look back one day and reflect on how much I've grown from where I am today.

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