April 26, 2009

Bitter Or Better

I've been writing quite a lot about some experiences in my life. Some of them have been funny. Some happy, and some downright tragic.

I think all of us have that in common. Life is not always "just a bowl of cherries" as the old song goes, so we've all had our share of good and bad, and have had the tragedy, too.

Some of us allow what's happened in the past to color every aspect of our lives. Some, more than others, because we are all different in our emotional makeup, and much of it is a result of our particular background, or upbringing.

I went to a therapist once, and he was amazed at the fact that I wasn't mad about anything. "Why aren't you mad?" he kept asking. "You should be mad. You have every right to be mad!"

But I wasn't. I'm not. I don't know why. Maybe, it is just because I am a forgiving person. Maybe, it is because I understand that people, for the most part, do the best they can. It may not always be the best, just the best that they can do. How they live their lives, and how they treat us, is a direct result of their own upbringing. It is a cycle that is sometimes broken, but sometimes it isn't.

Maybe, it is because I understand that we can't change our past. We can't change the fact that people don't always love us, or think well of us. Maybe, it is because, in spite of everything that happened to me in my past, I decided to become better, rather than bitter.

Much of what we feel, on a daily basis, is a direct result of how we react to the way others treat us. I read somewhere that life is ten percent of what happens to us, and ninty per cent, how we react to it. I have to admit, though, that sometimes my "reactor" just doesn't want to cooperate with me...so maybe I am angrier than I realize!

I'd hate to think that this is so.

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

~Ecclesiastes 7:9~


Anonymous said...

Hi Jan,

I have told several people over the years that "you can't control how other people act, what they say, how they treat you, all you can control is how YOU REact". I also have had MANY things happen to me in my life that I had absolutely NO control over, even though I HAD to suffer the consequences. I could only control how I reacted to them. I have always chosen to move in a FORWARD motion. I have also told numerous people "don't look at the past, unless that's where you WANT to be". I don't know if these are sound words of advice or not all I know is I, myself, prefer to move forward each and every day!

Thank you so much for coming by my blog, it really means alot to me. Whenever you are ready to place an order you know how to get ahold of me. :)

talk to you later,

Jan said...

Bill..sounds like pretty sound advice to me.

I'd say that you pretty much have it all together. :)

It's always my pleasure to come by your blog.

Yes, I'll be in touch about the order soon.

Don and Frances Miller said...

Jan, I've been out of touch for a few days and when I returned, I read your latest post. This is so good. And so much wisdom in what you have to say on this subject. Years ago,in a different time and a vastly defferent lifestyle I believed in and practiced " An eye for an eye". If I was wronged, I believed in vengence with a passion. That was the way my dad taught me that was the way that seemed right to me. BUT, that was before I met the One who invented forgivness. From the hour I surrendered control of my life to the Master, my whole perspective on life changed. Today , I have no animosity toward any person on earth although many probably deserve it. I learned to forgive, because I have been forgiven. 1 JN 7:7-14
Have a great day today. DM

Jan said...

DM..it's always so good to hear what you have to say..thanks!

sue said...

Yeah, a few years ago I had to evaluate my life and face some things that happened in my childhood and young adult life. It came down to either forgiving and letting go, or confronting people in my past. I knew they had "re-written" history anyway, and it would be of no good result to confront them, so I forgave and moved on. I'm so much happier and at peace now than I was for so many years.

Jan said...

Sue..I understand, and knowing what you're talking about, I think you've done the right thing.

I've said it so often, but it still holds true: Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.