Bittersweet

On our walk today in the Pequotsepos Preserve, we passed some late blossoms on a bittersweet vine,

and, as we finished our walk, thinking about the word ‘bittersweet’, it came to me how refreshing it is to free oneself from the bitterness of resentment into the sweetness of forgiveness. I was remembering an incident from many years ago when, having felt injured by someone’s remarks and having enclosed myself in spiteful resentment for awhile, I was suddenly able to free myself from it. I’m not sure why or how, but I surprisingly broke down the walls of my own anger and, in my heart, completely forgave the person. I remember it so well, the feeling of unqualified freedom that came over me. I was released from the prison of my own resentment. I was free to accept and even be at ease with the remarks that had so hurt me. I saw the remarks as if from a great distance, and they seemed as harmless as birds flying far away.  And now it has me wondering: Could I perhaps forgive other so-called harmful things, even things like serious illness, or tragedy? If these happen, could I ‘forgive’ them, and thus rise up out of the bitterness of fear and anger? Would this help me to see illness and tragedy as simply events in my life, events with which I can be comfortable instead of angry, and could that then release me from the bitter prison of hostility into the sweet freedom of forgiveness and acceptance?

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