Monday, October 8, 2012

Letting Go of Bitterness: Time and Intention

It only took a moment. The introduction to an old song played on the radio before I could get to the "Off" button, but it was too late. The memories came flooding back. The hurts came flooding back.  But, mostly?  It was the bitterness.

It's almost like a retreat, this bitterness. It's a place of safety when the hurts and the pain come shooting back up. It's a place where you are the victim and therefore worthy of extreme pity. The retaliating thought arrows at those who hurt you... you are given free rein to shoot those here. You reign supreme. You are the king and the queen whose whims and emotions and insecurities must be fed and coddled at all costs.

But you cannot stay here.

You are protected here by your own bitterness. But you were not meant to wallow in all the bitter for your whole life. You were meant for more.

But it's easy, isn't it? It's easy to find yourself here. It is easy to stay here. And it is so hard to leave and to stay gone.

They say that time heals everything.  And I won't completely argue with the sentiment.  Time helps. Time makes the pain softer. Time gives you the chance to pick your head up, pick up the pieces around you, and walk on.  But, I'm not sure that even Time is enough.

You need intention. The bitterness doesn't just leave you.  It wants you to hang out. It wants to be felt and rolled around in and painted on your soul like a tattoo.  You have to be intentional about letting go of bitterness, even if it's only one minuscule baby step at a time.  You have to want it, and you have to continually make the choice to not live with that cloak.  If you don't, it will come back.

I remember singing a song in kindergarten about this family with a cat they didn't want.  They did all kinds of things to get rid of this cat.  But the chorus always went like this:

"The cat came back the very next day
The cat came back, they thought he was a goner
But the cat came back the very next day.
He just wouldn't stay away."

Bitterness is like that. If you are not vigilant, it will come back.  It wants you and you have to be intentional about staving it off.  But, be clear.  You want to stave it off. You need to stave it off. We were not meant to be broken forever. We were not meant to be bitter forever. You can't be who you were meant to be if you become comfortable in your own bitterness. Don't mistake. It will eat you... it will eat us... from the inside out and it will leave us a mere shell of who we were, of who we are, and of who we can be.

Be intentional. Put it aside. Be better.


  1. Oh I know this all too well. I think I am beyond it, then something happens and it springs up and chokes me for a minute. But just for a minute. Until the next time. LOL.

    1. It's disheartening sometimes how you can get momentarily choked up over something that you really thought you were past.

  2. Oh, so true! Just had this reminder again yesterday- and I thought I was doing so well. I love this reminder to be intentional. Thank you!!!

    1. You're welcome, my friend. We'll all get there! **hugs**