Continuing on my thoughts of being the Victim or Victor… another thought pattern that holds us back from change is bitterness.
Why is there so much bitterness in the world? People seem to be bitter over a myriad of things – real or perceived: failed relationships, unmet expectations, being wronged by someone or something, having a disease or disability, and experiencing disappointments and setbacks.
I believe that one of the reasons so many people are bitter is because they are not living their life authentically. People live with guilt, resentment, sorrow, and regret.
Bonnie Ware, a palliative nurse working with terminally ill patients, found that there were 5 main regrets that people had about their lives; they said,
- “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.”
Bitterness starts to tear holes in the fabric of our being, mentally and physically. Bitterness causes us to become out off balance, stressed, depressed, or cynical. When our body is stressed, it releases the hormone cortisol. Sustained elevated cortisol levels can destroy healthy muscle and bone, slow down healing and normal cell regeneration, impair digestion, metabolism and mental function, weaken your immune system and cause fat deposit in the abdominal area.
Many of my clients hold on to bitterness aimed at someone or something else. I help them realize that living with this acrimony only hurt themselves and holds them back from living a happy, healthy life.
You can spend your energy being bitter and being a victim of your circumstances, or you can use that energy to visualize yourself being victorious over your situation and being healthy, whole, and complete.
The truth is it is not so much what happens to us, but how we deal with what happens to us. You ultimately have a choice. You can be bitter or you can choose to be better.