Of all the aftershocks of love’s endings, bitterness does the most damage because it’s sneaky. While it clouds perception, it silently fulfills its own prophecy, which is that people will stay away. Potential friends and lovers keep their distance from an embittered person, which only serves to confirm his/her sour view of life, completing the circle of cynicism. (Deep sigh.)
But when people are content with life and with themselves, they, for the most part, view life’s downturns fairly, placing blame where deserved while (ahem) shouldering the rightful share of responsibility for mistakes, which are almost inevitable in a full life. So what’ll it be, bitter or optimistic? Take your choice. I kid you not, my friend; it is indeed a conscious choice. There are ways to remain hopeful, even when life tosses you a world-class curve.
Ask yourself whether you lay the blame on the other gender, fate, society or your genetic pool for your bad outcomes. If so, consider writing down (yes, this is soul-searching time) the ways they are hurting your chances for happiness and the remedies you suggest. Seeing as it’s only you who’s living your life (and feeling cheated of its happiness), you’re the logical person to make the changes that can make your life better. The short answer? Heal the person in the mirror.
Remind yourself of your personal power, the strength you have to make changes in your life. And make it your mantra to think in the present moment only. Don’t fall into the self-defeating mindset that colors today’s opportunities with hurts of the past. Every day is a new day, a chance to be another you — the new and improved version. Make a point of putting yourself in the thick of things, far from the sidelines where the fearful and the downbeat console themselves.
Dive into possibilities as they come along, and stay too busy to revolve in neutral gear reliving past hurts. And really, when you think of it, there’s no other way to recoup your chances but to go forward. (At your own pace, of course, but do make it your choice.) As for yesterday, well, it’s dead and gone. And tomorrow? Totally out of sight. The only logical choice, then, is to dig into the now and find what it holds for you.
Is it becoming clear that much of what happens is chosen? Yes, some luck is involved; I admit that. But your mood, your friends, your work life are all choices. And affecting all of them is your attitude! More about bitterness next time. Stay tuned.
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