Let Go of Bitterness

iStock-639794440.jpgPerhaps you are holding onto bitterness, anger, or resentment. You feel that you’ve been unjustly wronged and you continue to hold a grudge against your ex-spouse.  You dwell on the pain that was done to you. You tell anyone who’ll listen all the injustices you’ve been through. However, when you hold a grudge against those you feel have wronged you, you only hold yourself back from moving forward. In addition to the bitterness keeping you stuck, the Mayo Clinic has identified how holding onto bitterness may have the following toxic effects in many areas of your life.

*Dwelling on past hurts robs of you of your present day joy.

*Holding onto bitterness can spill into other relationships you have.

*It can lead to depression or anxiety.

*Bitterness causes us to lose connections we have with others.

*Holding onto grudges can cause you to feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose.

So what prevents you from letting go of the bitterness? This article will help you identify what may be holding you back and how to move forward. Forgiveness is a conscious act of letting go of resentment and negative thoughts. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny or forget that you’ve been hurt nor does it lessen the other person’s responsibility – it’s meant for you. You aren’t excusing what the other person did to you. You’re surrendering your desire for revenge.

Follow these four steps to find the forgiveness your heart deserves:

1) In order to forgive, you must reflect on the facts and how holding onto the bitterness is impacting you. When you forgive and let go, you’ll no longer define yourself by how you were hurt.

2) Then, you must ACTIVELY CHOOSE to forgive the person. Let go of those resentments and pessimistic thoughts.

3) When you find yourself retelling how you were hurt—STOP. When you dwell on the past hurt, you’re essentially focusing on the negative.  When the urge arises, refocus your attention elsewhere and distract yourself with a constructive activity. (Being of service to others is a wonderful way to focus on others and find the positive in ourselves.)

4) Lastly, stop viewing yourself as the victim. Take accountability for your actions. This will be EMPOWERING because you will be releasing control that the offender has had on your life!

By utilising these steps, you can move towards opening your heart. If you are struggling with overcoming bitterness or other issues surrounding a break-up or divorce, reach out to me at terrievanover@comcast.net for a free consultation so that we can start to devise a plan to help you find your strength.