The Unmasking of Bitterness


“There’s an old story of two shopkeepers who were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other, and they would spend each day keeping track of each other’s business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival. Day and night they taunted each other as each strove to outdo the other. Pretty soon it got to be more than a game; it became a match in jealous hatred and anger. One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, ‘I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?’ The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, “Here is my request: strike me blind in one eye!’” (excerpt from “I Dare You” - Joyce Meyer)

For many of us acknowledging and coming to terms with the debilitating presence of bitterness can be excruciating and exhausting.  Although it does not have to be that way, it does require a willingness on the part of the individual to dismantle its tormenting viability.  The reality of the matter is that, the resurgence of jealousy, envy, resentment and unforgiveness is predicated upon the viability of the offense to incarcerate an individual's thought process.

So, how does one begin the process of unmasking bitterness at the root?  The initial process of unmasking bitterness begins with being renewed within the spirit of our minds – choosing to be healed from a victim mentality (the absence of control over another’s actions) and embracing a more than a conqueror mindset (taking ownership of our part regarding the imputed charges, if any).  Although multifaceted, it encompasses understanding what bitterness is and is not.  It comes from the Greek word pikria which comes from the root word pik which means “to cut.”  It also refers to something cutting or sharp or to have a bitter taste.

Although the proclivity to mask its origin does exist perhaps the mental uneasiness of embracing the process is what hinders most of us from unmasking its root.  Unlike, the damaged shoes in our closets that we so easily discard of, why are we not as expedient in the discarding of our memorials of hurt and disappointment in the same manner?  In the prolific words of Bishop T.D. Jakes “You can't be who you're going to be and who you used to be at the same time.”