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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Digging out the roots-

Overcoming our own shortcomings is no easy task. The hard part, one would think, is recognizing that we are not quite so wonderful as we might have deluded ourselves into thinking we were.

Perhaps I shouldn't use 'we.' I am talking about me. I have had several periods of depression in my life, and over time I have become bitter. I recognize my own faults in this. I have to, or I won't overcome the problem.

So, from studying I have found techniques to manage the depression and related anger. For the most part I have done well in learning to manage this problem. I accept it as a health problem. A mental health problem, but no less a health problem for that.

The years of depression and anger, however, have allowed a deep rooted bitterness to take hold. This is proving more difficult. Bitterness leads to a critical and unforgiving attitude, and that attitude can be a firmly established habit.

I thought quitting smoking was hard.

The "cure" for a bitter heart is to forgive. That is very hard. Not the first time. No. That isn't so hard. It is to forgive and forgive and forgive. When you are out to change yourself the other people won't necessarily change. They will continue to offend, intentionally and more often without intent.

Two weeks ago I felt I was making headway. During the last two weeks the people who offend me most often have offended again. In a most unforgiving manner I spoke ill of those people in a context that was not suitable. I failed to forgive, and I fed that very root of bitterness I was striving to remove.

So, like a drunk or a junkie, I must begin again each and every day.

The fact is, this is a hard thing I am doing. Like giving up smoking, only much more difficult.

My name is Michael Lockridge, and I am addicted to my own bitterness.

One day at a time. Sigh.

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