I do it, we all do it! Dancing around the bodies of people or situations who have hurt us, so full of pain. Swinging a kick, a punch or a well worded tirade of truth, masked in ugliness, in the direction of the hurt and or the one who cause the hurt.
Bitterness is, I think, one of many normal human reactions to hurt, violation of trust etc. A fruit of unreleased anger or fear; sometimes well warranted in the direction of the one who caused harm and almost never beneficial to me, to my soul, to our souls together. Each kick, rehashing and attempt to make sense of those senseless hurts especially, draws us down, down, down into the pit.
The pit of bitterness, like a grave with the sides kicked out, is a rut. A place we do not want to dwell but cannot seem to escape.
I think the only way I know how to escape is to do two things. One is forgive and move on even if there is no reconcillation (not easy at all but Freedom does come) and the second is tell the truth to the person who hurt me and just get it out. I am not going to give bitterness space rent free in my head or my heart in 2013.
So I might say to my friend, my colleague or my family member…You hurt me. I will forgive you or try really hard…just give me a little time. What you did was not okay with me. I do not need you to say I am sorry though that would be nice, maybe even ideal. I forgive you for me. Because my being bitter does not hurt you, probably it just gives you a reason to write me off as crazy, immature, an unforgiving compassionless zealot. And yes, it’s true you might be right but mostly I am acting out of a hurt that makes it hard to confront, hard to tell the truth, hard to forgive and I am wrapped up so tight that I can not see my way out. (“You” in this paragraph refers the hypothetical person–not “you” the reader 🙂
But “screw” hard. (oh, that sounds bad) What I mean is hello, hard, nice to meet you, I am going to own you. I want to and I need to be free. This bitterness is not who I am or want to become. So hard means nothing. Lots of things are hard but we do them anyway because they save us or offer something to some one else that is profoundly important (your personal senario here–where do you willing go to hard places for yourself or for others because you know the benefit outweighs the cost).
So I offer my bitterness and ask forgiveness for it. And I am not going to back down on forgiving or telling the truth…it’s a double whammy of hard painful stuff and just being a whole and healthy human being, darn it.
The bitterness dance sucks and I am no wallflower, I do not need it’s attention and I do not need to give it the time of day.
Good bye Bitterness. See you again never!
One thought on “The Bitterness Dance”
Right on. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31