Tag Archives: emotional freedom

# 71 Deciding To Let Go of Bitterness

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C 3 quarks/Dreamstime.com

C 3 quarks/Dreamstime.com

When you decide you no longer need the bitterness and resentment, you are ready to let go of it.  You are ready to forgive.  There are many ways. People decide to forgive when it just isn’t interesting any more.  Like an old movie that has been played over and over, it is time to put it back on your shelf and watch something new.  Recall number #59 by Mary Oliver.  Where she refers to sorrow, substitute bitterness and resentment. “When I was young, I was attracted to bitterness.  It seemed interesting.   It seemed an energy that would take me somewhere.  Now I am older, if not old, and I hate bitterness.  I see that it has no energy of its own, but uses mine, furtively.  I see that it is leaden, without breath, and repetitious, and unsolvable.”  People let go of old resentments by imagining them as snow flakes falling on the ocean, as sand castles on the shore, melting away with the incoming tide. People let go of bitterness and begin to forgive when they decide that they are tired of being controlled by other people and past events.  They want to stake out a claim on their own lives again.  They want to control how they feel, and what they think about it.  They decide that while they can’t change the past, they can change how they feel to day, and what they dwell on today. People decide to forgive because they are tired of seeing themselves as a person who is victimized, self-preoccupied, trapped, and embittered.  They prefer to see themselves as a person who is generous, tolerant, and nonjudgmental.  People who have forgiven those who betrayed them feel emotionally free, and they feel they have risen in stature as a human being. What method will you use to forgive those who hurt you, betrayed you, or disappointed you?

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# 57 Look Forward to Growing Old & Being Yourself

  Older Woman Smilingyellow-dot

      Let’s think about aging for a bit.  When I was younger I dreaded aging.  What is there possibly to look forward to about getting older?  Then I saw the movie, On Golden Pond.  This is the family classic with Henry Fonda, daughter Jane Fonda, and Kathryn Hepburn which came out in 1981.  In the movie Kathryn Hepburn makes the casual statement that now that she is older, she doesn’t worry about what other people think of her any more.

Wow, I thought.  Imagine not having to worry about what other people thought of you any more.  Now that was something to look forward to.  I began to notice that older people went about their lives with little thought to the judgments of others.  My youthful preoccupation in my high school and college years with my mother’s embarrassing behavior suddenly took on a whole new meaning.  Perhaps it wasn’t she who had the problem, but me.  Instead of being embarrassed by her, I should be trying to emulate her.  I began to pay close attention to the older women in my church, how comfortable they were with themselves.  They were long past caring and moved through their lives with grace and ease–whether they were bird watching, folk dancing, or demonstrating for world peace and clean rivers.  I began to look forward to old age as a time of complete security with myself and the emotional freedom to do as I like without anxiety.  I decided to move toward that goal as early as I could.  After all, why wait till I’m 70 if I can get there at 40 or 50?  Now that  I am in my 60’s I have arrived at that level of emotional freedom,  and my lack of concern with the judgments of others is the source of embarrassment to my own 20 something daughter.

Watch a movie today about older people.  Here are some suggestions.  Besides On Golden Pond, try these:

The Old Man and the Sea (1958) with Spencer Tracy

Wild Strawberries (1967) by Ingmar Bergman

The Sunshine Boys (1975) with George Burns and Walter Matthau

Love Among the Ruins (1975) with Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier

Cocoon (1985) with Don Ameche

Trip to Bountiful (1985) with Geraldine Page

Whales of August (1987) with Bette Davis and Lillian Gish

Driving Miss Daisy (1989) with Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy

Grumpy Old Men  (1993) with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau

About Schmidt (2002) with Jack Nicholson

 Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood (2002) with Ellen Burstyn

Just for today, pretend that you are old and that you are long past caring what people think of you.

Say what you care to say and do what you feel free to do.  Be yourself.

 

 

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