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Don’t let some hellbent heart leave you bitter…
It happens. Or better yet, shit happens. We all go through it, every single person in the history of mankind has had life challenges that have for lack of a better word, sucked.
I am totally not immune to the suckage that is life. It amazes me how many people see the surface of the things that are posted on Facebook or other social media and think that I am living the most wonderfully magical life. What they don’t know is for the past few years I have basically lived in Hell. And I hate it.
When hate finds you
The hate began when my marriage fell apart. The catalyst to the falling apart revolves around the disease of addiction, and it truly is a family illness, but now I have found myself suddenly, and mostly, single after 23 plus years of not being such. I am angry, hurt, all the things that one goes through when their life changes. I have a list of grievances that if I shared with someone they would agree that it is appropriate for me to hate my ex (who is actually not really my ex – long story for a different post). As I sit here and write this now, I am seething with anger over a few things and the word hate just keeps popping to my mind and eating away my gut.
The thing is though, I am not a hate filled person nor a hateful person. I don’t really hate him either, I hate the actions that got us here. Maybe I am feeling it more because I am seeing so much hate lately: in the media, in the world., even in my own neighborhood. All of these encounters with hate have an effect, but it is up to me to determine what effect they will have. By allowing the emotions that this falling apart has brought me to turn into hate is going to make me hateful and hate-filled and I don’t want that, so here are a few steps that I am imploring upon myself to not become hate-filled and turn in to someone who walks through life with a chip on her shoulder. Instead, I choose to dance, here’s how:
How to not Hate
- Find a hobby. – Redirect yourself to something you love doing or always wanted to learn to do. I am currently studying French, have gotten back into gardening and doing Ancestry.com research. Refocusing the attention helps!
- Volunteer. – The most sure-fired way of getting out of your own misery is helping someone else through theirs. There are so many ways to volunteer, so many people, places and things that need someone with your skill, compassion and most of all, time. Give them some of that and what you gain will be tenfold.
- Exercise. – Go on a walk, join a gym, take a dancing class. Just get out there and MOVE IT!
- Find a community. – My community is church; those are my people that I know are there for me no matter what. There are other places to find community too though, like a 12 step group, a hobbyist group (like my pals at The Disney Nerds Podcast), or a group of similar professionals that are in the same career field.
- Go on a date. – It doesn’t have to be a romantic date, (but that doesn’t hurt either!); go out with friends, your kids, a coworker, even your dog (or borrow a dog, the shelter is always looking for someone to help – see # 2). Just go out and enjoy something different than sitting at home stewing over life.
- Reconnect with old friends and family members that you haven’t been with in some time. – Sometimes we fall apart from people we care about. Now is a good time to fall back together.
- Travel. – There are few things I love better than travel. New places, people, experiences. New thoughts and ideas about the world around me. Travels expands our minds and that expands our life.
- Get a job. – You may have a job you love already, but you may not. Is it time for a change? Maybe you just would like to do something part-time in a different industry all together or maybe you’d like to go back to school to finally achieve the goal of your dream job. I am! You can, too! Do it!
- Go to therapy. – Talk to someone. Get it all out. Let them help you get over it, whatever ‘it’ is.
- Better yourself. – While we can’t control the actions of others, we can control our reaction to it. Take some time to work on your reactions. Do you respond with rage, or passive aggression? If you have lived with prolonged stress, difficulty or forms of abuse, you have learned survival skills to deal with that. Unfortunately some of those skills are not necessarily healthy. Now is a good time to release those behaviors. Read self-help books or listen to podcasts, attend a 12 step meeting that pertains to your situation, or whatever you find that helps you become a better person. Remember, better, not bitter.
- Take a nap. – Sometimes, when all else fails, I just need to go to sleep. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you are well rested.
Anger is depression turned outward and as we walk through life, we encounter a lot of angry people. On the road, in the store, at work. What we need to remember is that these people are angry on the outside because of the pain they have on the inside.
Have you ever witnessed someone literally go crazy on a clerk at the store, a driver on the road or even a Cast Member at a theme park? I know I have and so many times, the person all that anger was directed at will turn to me after the incident and comment on how hateful that person was. Many times, the victim of that display of anger is crying or otherwise visibly upset and my role in life is to comfort them. That’s who I am and part of the theme of my life.
The problem with providing comfort though is that when I am the victim of someone’s ire, I often am not giving that comfort back to myself. We can take the mistreatment by others and either let it make us bitter, angry and hate-filled, or we can comfort ourselves and find relief from someone else’s actions.
Deep down I know that the actions of my non-ex ex are his alone. No, I am not free from any blame, I did my share of things too, but his actions – his – are his and not mine. They reflect on him and who he is, or who he was during that time. Not me. I can choose to let them continue to control me or I can remove myself from it and look at it like a giant painting, where I can see all the details – every brush stroke, every shift of color and light – and I can then take that picture and hang it elsewhere. No longer allowing it to decorate my life. Removing that painting is removing the hate. Shedding the hate also brings forth forgiveness, and isn’t that what we all need a little more of in this life?
Happiness is a choice but so is hate. What are you going to choose today?
Until next time,
Be well. Be love.
Read more: Do You.