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Be Better, Not Bitter

by Angie Barnett 4 years ago in happiness
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5 Ways to Become Better, Not Bitter

We all go through pain and heartache in life. Hardships shape us whether we like it or not. It is up to us to define how it shapes us. Do we become bitter from our circumstances? Do we grow from the pain and allow it to make us better? There is a choice.

You may wonder why should you listen to me on this subject. I will tell you. It is because I am happy. Against insurmountable odds, I am truly happy.

In the last year I have dealt with a great deal. I fled a domestic abuse situation with my four children, had to leave 99 percent of our personal belongings in order to flee, lost my home to forclosure, divorced an addict that I was married to for 20 years, had my left leg amputated mid thigh, and got raped to name a few. It has been a crazy year. I have learned so much through all of the pain. I want to share this knowledge with whoever will listen.

1- Find the humor.

In every situation there are things that can be laughed off. We may have to look harder to find them, but they are there. Here's an example. Something that comes to my mind, pertaining to my situation, is how I joke about how I should have chosen a different route to lose weight. Cutting off a leg is a bit drastic and not technically a diet.

You get the idea.

2- Be grateful.

In every situation there is something to be grateful for. Sometimes it is obvious. Sometimes we have to look deeper into the situations to find what there is to be thankful for. That's okay, effort is good! For example, I am grateful I only lost one leg and not both. There is always someone out there with it worse. Perspective is priceless and gratitude changes everything.

3- Feel.

Feeling emotions like anger, sadness, and frustration are a normal part of being human. A happy person has moments of all of these emotions. The key is to not allow your mind to remain in a negative space. Dwelling on how awful we feel only makes us feel worse and does not promote healing. When sadness comes, it is important to find healthy ways to feel the emotion. Listen to music, talk with a friend, write in a journal, etc. Then, let it go. Granted this is easier said than done, but it can be done. What we think about dictates how we feel. We are all products of what we think about, consciously and unconsciously. A good way to check to see if your thinking is positive and to catch yourself when you're thinking negatively, is to draw a small check mark on your wrist. Each time you see the check mark ask yourself how you feel. If you feel good, your thoughts are good. If you feel bad, your thoughts are negative and you should actively change them. "Check" yourself.

4- Forgive.

Forgive yourself and those around you. Everyone makes mistakes. We are often hardest on ourselves. This is natural. However there is good guilt and bad. The good guilt helps us to feel remorse and correct our mistakes. The bad drags us down into a negative stupor that limits our progress and stifles peace. Every circumstance afford opportunity to become better. Let go of the negative and embrace the positive. Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to condone someone else's actions. What forgiving does is free you from carrying the burden of the situation. The situation may not change, but your ability to deal with the situation exponentially increases. Buddha once said, "Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace." Such wise words. Forgiveness is hard, but equally beautiful in nature. To every yin there is a yang. Do not poison yourself with bitterness by wanting to poison someone else. It only hurts you and those closest to you.

5- Breathe.

I know you have heard it before, but I will say it again. Breathe! Pause, breathe, and flood your brain with oxygen and clarity. Breathing allows us to center ourselves and regain control of our emotions. This is key considering we can't always control or regain control over our circumstances.

We as human beings are so much stronger than we realize. Happy people are not people who never feel negative emotions. Happy people recognize when they do feel negative emotion. Then, they actively seek to resolve the issue and dwell in a positive space in their brain. I believe that happiness is a choice. We truly can become better from our hardships. We deserve to be better, not bitter. We deserve happiness.

happiness

About the author

Angie Barnett

Lover, fighter, dreamer. ❤

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