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How I Overcame bitterness and embraced forgiveness

Bitterness is the feeling of hurt, anger and resentment towards another person and often you feel you can do nothing about the situation. Many people have lost themselves to bitterness: their view of life and relationship with others change drastically when bitterness creeps in. I was once there: but to God be the glory because that is no longer the case today!

There was a time in my life, when I was heavily laden with a load of bitterness; I felt like Mother Nature hated me and was always working against me. But I was wrong. I was the one sending out negative vibes to the universe, and it was responding to my commands. Growing up, I felt my parents did not like me; even though I did all I could to be the best daughter I can be. I had good grades in school and obeyed their every command. I get along well with my siblings, neighbors, relatives and peers: but they rarely give me the attention that I craved; I can say there was hardly any love lost between us. 

I have an uncle: my father’s half brother; he was just two years older than me and he was living in our house; I consider him my brother and my parents stood as parents to him. I was close to him because he was the only older person I could confide in and he used to lend me a shoulder to lean on. We both got admission, but at different universities. His school was ten to eleven hours by road and mine was between forty-five minutes and one hour. We were both given the same course of study. The problem started when he would use the distance as an excuse to take a larger percentage of foodstuffs and provisions, and my mother indulge him, saying that I could come home in two weeks. There was a time he came to visit me and “borrowed” one of my textbooks and dissecting set: he never returned it and my parents did not get another one for me. 

Our relationship started slowing down, as he no longer has time for me and each time I call him, he will be busy doing one thing or the other. When he promises to call, he would not. When I told him about my boyfriend, he was not excited and when my boyfriend became my fiancé; he was not moved, and I felt like he hated me. I invited him to my wedding party and he refused to show up. He stopped answering my calls, and resentment and bitterness crept in. I remembered all the good things I had done for him. All my sacrifices and I just can’t understand why he would be that way; he was like that with my parents and siblings too; so I tagged him ‘ingrate’. After about seven years he started calling me, my parents and siblings; but I wasn’t ready to answer his calls. I refused to talk to him and he reported me to my younger brother, who asked me to let go of all he had done. After a few months, he brought his fiancée home and eventually got married. I did not attend and I am glad I didn’t because as soon as he got married he cut off the communication again so I tagged him ‘use and dump’. 

I was bitter at my parents as well because they were never there for me: they would never come visiting; it appears as if they did not miss me for once. I just wished there was a way I could deal with them. Initially, I was contemplating suicide: I wanted them to feel the same pain that I was feeling. Depression set in; I did not remember my husband and children who were always around me. All I saw was those who have deserted me. I did not see all the love and acceptance I had. Bitterness is such a pain in the ass. It stripped me of my joy and peace. I later thought that I would end up in hell fire if I took my own life. I had to live so that I can take my revenge, and I prayed they would live long, so that when they grow older and need my support, then I can pay them back in their own coins.

What I did not know was that I was gradually shifting from a sweet, light-hearted person to a bitter one who could hardly trust others. My zest for life left me: my heart grew cold and at a point I thought I was incapable of love. I withdrew from people and my husband and children could not really enjoy me. My heart became cold and hardened. I prefer to be left alone and smiles were far from me. I would burst out in anger at the slightest provocation: and many illnesses manifested in my body. 

Not long after that, I heard a message about letting go and letting God. Initially, I wanted to hold on to all the bad memories, but I was told they would prevent the sunshine in my sky. But I felt the Holy Spirit was nudging me to let go. It was difficult for me to release them, anytime I think about just letting go it would pain me to the point of tears. All I wanted was payback. I had to ask the Holy Spirit and Jesus to help me. And soon I consistently heard sermons on forgiveness, or read books on the same. This continued until I could internalize it and it became a part of me. So I gradually released them. Later on, I lay my burdens at the feet of Jesus. Then I wrote out all of my feelings about them and I burned the paper with fire. It was not until I did this over and over, before I no longer felt bad when I think or talk about them. I tried calling my uncle, but no one had his contact. Feeling better about my life now, I started calling my parents and sending money to them. I sent my uncle a friend request on Facebook but he did not accept it. I sent him a private message, but he refused to answer. So I left him alone and pray for him from time to time. 

Now when I look back on those times, I realize I was not punishing them but myself: I was depriving myself of all the joy and peace that I should enjoy; I endured pains and sorrows instead. Now I can breathe well and have a good time with my wonderful family. My parents’ attitude has also improved a lot, and I am grateful that I embraced forgiveness because my spirit has revived and my sun is shining brighter each day. I really wish that I never had to put myself through all the hard times.

So I encourage you to let go of that person and let God deal with them. That way you will not deny yourself of quality life. You will rejoice in all the days that the Lord has made.

Remain blessed!

Shalom!

Folake.