A beautiful morning, and I am purposefully shutting off the boob tube and getting out my laptop to get some thoughts out that started to germinate as I washed up this morning.
For myself, recovery serves the purpose of helping me avoid bitterness. Why is dealing with bitterness so important?
You may know of friends or family that have had a loss or deeply upsetting event in their lives, and have decided that God serves no purpose. I know of some folks like this. They are angry at God, but won’t really come out and say it. The bitterness, though, is palpable. Their lives are lived without mercy or grace, for themselves or others. For it is God the extends love, mercy and grace when we can find none on our own, such as times of great loss or tragedy.
My grandmother lost her husband to cancer in 1989, and she lived another 13 years pretty much just waiting to join him. She spoke often about God’s love, was devoted to christian programs, and always had her bible nearby. Even with all the trappings of a deeply held spiritual life, she had lost her purpose, her fire, her push to do the will of God. I believe she was angry at the loss of her husband, and having to live on without him. I was not in recovery yet, so I had no way to speak into her life, as I was also sick with codependency, and expecting God to reach down and just “make it all better.”
When anger is allowed to burn, unchecked, in our lives, it is digging a hole for the root of bitterness to take hold. The root, then, crowds out things like purpose, love, grace and mercy. For a while, we can deceive ourselves and others, and act like everything is “fine”, but the root gets larger, and starts to poison and choke off everything. Pretty soon, we are toxic, resentful and our anger will erupt at the most inconvenient times. This was me before recovery, and is pretty much anyone who allows that root space in their heart and soul.
Back to the original statement of how recovery helps me avoid this trap. Well, my group time and talking with those in active recovery helps me uncover any tiny little traces of bitterness or anger that is festering or needs to be unearthed and pounded out. By myself, or in my own “vain imaginings”, I get lost in the munge and can actually make it worse. But with healthy peeps there to calibrate with and point me in the right direction, God uses these interactions to clear away the thorns, thistles and brush so I can clearly move ahead, and not get mired down.
Yes, this is a long entry, but it is so very important. Bitterness and unaddressed anger can poison your health, possibly ending your life. Certainly, it compromises the present quality of your life and of those around you. So ask for God’s help and strength to deal with it, every moment.
Much love, and big hugs!!