10 Tips For Overcoming Bitterness And Forgiving From The Heart
It is often not the experience itself that defines us, but our perception of the experience. Somewhere along the line, we become our thoughts.
And if our thoughts are tragically bitter, our lives become negative, and even empty.
Things happen. Bad things happen and good things happen. If you let bad things get to you, you will struggle to live a happy life.
I know that distancing yourself from a bad experience and taking a rational, objective view of it is difficult. It is very hard to shrug your shoulders and say “whatever” if someone you cared for has wronged you in some awful way.
But that’s not what I’m asking you to do.
I’m asking you to accept that something has happened, and to acknowledge how you feel about it. Don’t fight these feelings – this is important.
But if you want to a better, happier person, you must then realise that you are not your thoughts and feelings and that eventually they will pass you through you – as long as you let them.
Only then can you truly forgive someone.
Let’s take a look at 10 tips for overcoming bitterness and forgiving from the heart.
Remember That You Have A Choice
Many of us, when faced with any situation, rely on our fixed response patterns to respond. We rarely think twice, and instead automatically.
Let’s say that your boyfriend hasn’t texted you for nine hours. In this situation, do you respond as you always have done (which might be to send a follow-up text asking where he is), or do you try something new, such as waiting until the next day?
Most of the time, you will do what you always have done.
Relying on our automatic responses is efficient and saves time. But why is it that you can’t forgive from the heart? Surely it will save you so much more time than the alternative, which is to keep dwelling on the past?
Remember that you have a choice here. You don’t need to feel bitter. There is a happier alternative.
If you have never forgiven from the heat before, try it. It feels amazing and lets you move on with your life.
Forget About What They Deserve
Does the person deserve to be forgiven?
This is a vast question.
But the next question is, does it really matter?
This, after all, is about YOU and not them.
It isn’t about their merits that might justify forgiveness. It isn’t about letting them off the hook, even though they probably don’t deserve it.
It’s about you overcoming your bitterness and moving on from this.
So don’t stress yourself out about what they deserve. Consider only what YOU deserve.
Surely that is happiness, which only forgiving someone can give you.
Hey, We All Make Mistakes
It’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes because we’re all human, and we’re al human.
Yes, there might be small mistakes and bigger ones that cause more ripples. But does this mean that some people can never be forgiven?
Try to consider the many variables that were behind whatever happened. Consider the conditions in which it happened. Consider that this person messed up but is deeply remorseful and will learn from their error.
No, You’re Not Condoning Their Actions
Some people worry that if they forgive someone, it means that they’re actively condoning what they did.
“If I forgive them for insulting me in public, doesn’t that mean I’m basically condoning the act? Isn’t that the point where society falls apart?”
I understand the concern. But the answer to both questions is Absolutely Not.
You know what they did was wrong – possibly even very wrong,
But by choosing to forgive them, you are demonstrating what remarkable power you have.
You are showing that you know they did wrong, but that you still have it in you to rise above it.
And that’s a very powerful thing.
Picture What Life Will Be Like If You Forgave Them
Right not, you know that your life is just not good enough. You’re miserable, bitter and can’t forget about the past.
And it’s all their fault.
Is this really how you want your life to be? Are you going to forever let what happened keep you at this abhorrent level?
Try to picture how much better your life would be if you forgave. Picture the freedom from these bad thoughts. Picture the new people you could welcome into your life, and the adventures that await you.
Be Grateful For What You Have
You may have lost something important to you. But by switching focus to the many things you have in your life to be grateful for, you might realise that, actually, you should be counting your blessings instead of wallowing in bitterness!
Forget About Them
Yes, they’re the person you’re forgiving. But a lot of time, the reason we find it so hard to forgive someone is because we fixate on them.
We check their Facebook for statuses, and see them having a good time.
We think about their arrogant smile and crease up.
No, we cannot forgive someone like that.
Forget about them.
Don’t think about the type of person they are.
Think only about the type of person YOU are.
You’re a good, kind, powerful person who is better than this. So what if they’re arrogant or conceited. Forgiveness is rarely a two-way thing. It’s all on you. Free yourself from them and the bitterness by forgiving from your heart.
Stop Wishing For A Better Past
Do you find yourself looking at the past with a storytellers imagination?
Perhaps you create a new plot and a few “what if scenarios”.
This might make you feel good for a few seconds, but soon the bitterness will come over in even bigger waves.
Stop torturing yourself like this and just accept that the past can never be altered. Forgive and work on creating a brighter future.
Take The Positives
There are positives to be taken from every situation, even the one which is making you feel so bad right now. Finding them will make it a lot easier for you to forgive.