James Eaton

March 18, 2021

Daily Blogging Challenge - Day 18 - Bitter

Have you ever been bitter? There was a time in my life when I was bitter and it was incredibly destructive to myself and those who were around me.

I was in a place of leadership and was part of a group making decisions about a large event. Some of the choices we made hurt some of my friends’ feelings and they felt like they were not heard. I was confident that I was doing everything in my power to make sure everyone was included and that the event actually went well (there were so many moving parts and things that I was overseeing).

In the end, the event was a great success but it fractured some friendships and left me feeling bitter. I walked around for months frustrated at how I was treated by my friends and I felt alone in trying to hold something together when it was not really my job to do all of that. There was a dark cloud around my life after the event and that pain and frustration (and just exhaustion) really set in to bitterness.

For the next few months I was stuck in a loop. I felt like Dr Strange (spoilers if you have not seen the Dr Strange movie...) when he was fighting the evil monster toward the end of the movie. He got himself stuck in a time loop where he kept dying over and over again until the monster gave up. I was stuck reliving those moment and trying to figure out a better way that I could have handled everything to make the event a success and retain those friendship. Much like Dr Strange, there seemed to be no way to win. So, I just kept replaying the events in my head and sharing them out loud if anything wanted to listen to my plight. 

It caused a strain on my other relationships and friendships. I was in a funk and honestly did not really want to be open and honest with anyone else. It was only after a few months that I was able to deal with my own hurt and frustration and move forward. I had to created a new way out and stop walking in that same rut that I had been stuck in for weeks. 

I have reconnected with some of those people, but there are still relationships that were split that have never been healed. I’m not bitter with those people anymore, I just feel sympathy for them. My hurt has turned to... something else. When I let go of the bitterness, it just became an experience that I could learn from. 

I can’t go back and change the past; I can’t actually do something to edit what happened. All I can do is move forward and make the most of today. Yesterday is a good teach but a terrible master. If you live for the praise of the past, you are going to get stuck in a time loop. 

I don’t say any of this as a master of this concept, but rather as someone who struggles with bitterness and regret. If you are struggling with bitterness and feel like you are stuck in a loop, I would encourage you to confront those feels and take a step toward walking in freedom of today. You are more than your hurt and you don’t have to live in bitterness.