Letting go of anger and bitterness

Letting go of anger and bitterness

We’re all far from perfect and we go through our own challenges and hurts. When we feel let down or betrayed our human condition is to ‘grip hold’ of the emotions that arise, broken trust means broken safety, we can feel betrayed, hurt, bitter, angry, and downright disappointed at ourselves for having trusted this person. Sound familiar?   Mindfulness teaches us to let go of anger and bitterness because the only person who’s suffering is you !

We’ve all been hurt by someone. Chances are, this someone has probably moved on, yet we find ourselves still harbouring feelings of anger and bitterness for hours, weeks, or even years later, we’ve become stuck in our ‘self perpetuating’ prison of resentment.

This ancient quote sums up succinctly why we shouldn’t hold on to anger and bitterness.

                                       “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and                                                                                    expecting the other person to die.”                                  


Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being or feeling angry, it’s a really powerful, motivating, valid, valuable emotion, it’s the gripping that causes the suffering.   That’s right.  Ironically, the only person who continues to suffer is you. That other person is probably having a dandy-of-a-life while you’re wallowing in self-pity and allowing these negative thoughts and emotions to consume your mind and time. Perhaps it’s best to let go of the anger and bitterness?  Focus your attention on those who value you and who you value in return. To help with this letting go process, we would like to share a few mindful ways to deal with these painful situations.

  1. Feel the situation fully  Suppressing your feelings can result in these feelings showing up in other situations and affecting innocent parties – not just the person who triggered your anger. Before you can let go of any emotion, you have to sit with it and feel it fully. Accept that you’re angry, bitter, frustrated, etc. and that it’s okay.
  2. Give yourself some time and space before confronting the person who has troubled you.
  3. Remind yourself that anger hurts youmore than the person who upset you. Be kind to yourself.
  4. Take responsibility.  Many times when we’re angry, we focus on what the other person did wrong, and this gives away our power. Instead, focus on what you could have done better. You will feel empowered and less bitter.
  5. Remind yourself that you can only remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it.  These acts create happiness – anger and bitterness never do.
  6. Write down what you have learned from this experience.  This may help to provide closure.
  7. Write down three things that you are grateful for.  Remind yourself that your happiness is derived from these rather than negative situations.
  8. Imagine your life ten or twenty years from now.  Realise that this situation is just a moment in the grand journey of life!

So, let go of that anger and bitterness. Don’t let these moments ruin your day or your life, they are after all only moments.!

Letting go of anger and bitterness
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