In my first year of university, the varsity volleyball coach contacted me to play for him.
I was a tall, lanky, country boy shy and nervous, not knowing what to expect in university.
I declined and have regretted it ever since, in fact, I’m bitter about it. Knowing what I know now, I should have gone for it!
That 30 year regret motivates me to urge my sons to get out there and live and not let their shyness stop them from trying new things – they don’t want to get old and bitter like me!
Psychology Today blogger, Stephen Diamond, Ph.D., defines bitterness as “a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment,” and regards it as “one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions.” (psychologytoday.com/don-t-let-your-anger-mature-bitterness)
Hanging on to bitterness and not being able to move forward is crippling to any personal growth plan.
Whether we do it to ourselves or someone does “it” to us, bitterness will literally sucks the life out of us.
I typically hold on to my own faults longer than I hold on to things people do to me.
Plenty of people have done things to me over the years that deserve my wrath – but when I think of those events, I chalk it up to “life happens”.
Science and spirituality agree that the primary cure to bitterness is forgiveness.
What people tend to forget is that forgiveness is a choice.
Maybe forgiving does not work.
Almost forgiving does not work.
Forgiving for half of something does not work.
Real and effective forgiveness is a toggle switch.
On or off.
Yes or No.
One of the best ways to flip the switch of forgiveness to ‘YES!’ is by sincerely and honestly reviewing our own life for decisions or events that have caused bitterness in others.
If you can review your life as far back as you can remember and can’t think of anything you might have done that requires forgiveness from somebody else, you’re not thinking hard enough
Or maybe you need help understanding – try talking to people and asking them outright. Someone will tell you about a time you hurt them…
If you are having a hard time perfecting love and empathy, why not join me and other parents who may struggle with the same thing: https://www.facebook.com/perfectmanblogger.