One of Mama Kat’s writing prompts this week was to write a post inspired by the word “bitter”. I wanted to do the one about the past year’s resolutions, but I know I need to do this one. 2015 has been a tumultuous year, and I’ve learned a lot of life lessons. One of them is about bitterness.
SARK talks about grudges in The Bodacious Book of Succulence (I love her books!) and says, “My friend Bridgette used to just quietly say the word bitter when she would hear me or someone else being it.” Like so many tidbits from her books, that one has stuck with me for years. I tend to hold onto bitterness and grudges much longer than I want to. I remember hurtful words said to me decades ago as though it happened just this morning. And it’s not that I don’t forgive the people who said the words or the people who took the actions. I do, and I realize that even at the time these people probably did not intend to be hurtful. I just can’t forget all the situations, and it sometimes makes me cynical, judgemental, and – yes – bitter.
It was a huge transition when I went from being a full-time professional nurse, wife, and mother of two who was adept at keeping all the balls in the air to a practically house-bound chronic pain sufferer who can’t even load her own dishwasher, let alone work. I found out who my true friends were. I’ve let go of the bitterness I felt for those who were only my friends when it was convenient for them or when I could do something for them. I’ve grown much closer to those who really care about me, and who understand my limitations. I’m blessed with some fabulous friends and family members.
In the coming year I want to release all my bitterness, but keep what I’ve learned from it to guide my future interactions. That may be one of my most important resolutions this year!