grieving woman looking out window

What Is the Hardest Thing You Have Faced?

We’ve all faced hard times at one time or another.

What is one hard time that you still feel the hurt from today?

Perhaps you’ve been rejected or betrayed. Maybe a dream didn’t come to pass. Maybe you didn’t get a promotion you deserved. Maybe you failed at something you worked really hard for. Or maybe you have been a victim of a crime or have experienced the pain of abuse.

Maybe you were bullied when you were a child or maybe currently in the workplace. Maybe addiction robbed you of a healthy childhood or a relationship with a loved one. Or maybe you didn’t receive the love and approval you needed from a parent, sibling, teacher, friend, relative, boss or someone who was important to you. Maybe you’ve been living with a chronic illness or diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Or maybe a cherished loved one has died.

This Is How to Manage Your Bitterness

All of these scenarios carry lasting hurt because they center around some kind of loss.

Loss of dignity, loss of respect, loss of belonging, loss of a sense of safety, loss of security, loss of a dream, loss of acceptance, loss of love.

Loss like this causes pain. There’s no way around it. It hurts. But pain in and of itself isn’t bitterness.

If we choose to bury or avoid our pain, bitterness often takes root. Bitterness then leads us to feel like victims and get ourselves stuck in a cycle of blame.

We feel helpless, and we’re plagued by “What-if”s.

When we allow ourselves to stay in this vicious cycle of hurt, hopelessness, and bitterness, our hearts harden. We close ourselves off from the world. We’d rather be lonely than hurt like that again. Including the hurt of working through grief.

I believe much of the abuse, greed, selfishness, rage, insults and violence we see in our world all too frequently has its roots in unresolved grief.

Healing: A Pathway to Feeling Whole Again

We need healing.

Emotional and spiritual healing are essential for any of us to experience the abundant life in a world filled with heartache and suffering. Through healing we can open ourselves back up to the world and experience its beauty and goodness.

And it begins with acknowledging your pain and sharing your story with an experienced helper who can listen, give witness to your pain and help you to release the pain of the past.

It is like tending a garden, pulling out the ugly weeds so that the cherished and beautiful plants can grow.

Let’s be clear, grief can be a lifelong process. So can healing. But healing doesn’t mean that you are forgetting the grief or pretending like it didn’t happen.

Healing means that you grow to live with the hurt in a way that doesn’t stop your life from happening. Loss is hard and painful, but it doesn’t have to define the rest of your days.

While we can’t change the past, we can choose to not allow the past to ruin our future. Healing is possible and is your birthright as a child of God.

Your old story can have a new ending.

Is today the day you choose the path of healing?

Because it can be.

If you’re at a place where you are ready to have an experienced helper work with you through grief, set up a free 15 minute call with me. We’ll talk through some of your story and see if we would work well together to start your healing journey.

June 24, 2022


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By Dr. Richelle Hoekstra-Anderson & Tom Ziglar