There it was moving quickly and agilely into different parts of my environment. Not being able to see fully, it camouflaged itself, and it took over my surroundings. I felt this crippling pain and recognized that it had its tail so profoundly sunken in me. With no sudden movement, it continued to stare at me, this overbearing ugly thing. It was not intimidated, yet intimidating and seemed it knew its surroundings and felt welcomed. So, I decided to do some research and finally able to identify it; it was a scorpion.
Just some fun facts, did you know that scorpions can be deadly predators and are fast and can catch and hold their prey while injecting venom into their prey? To my discovery, this was not just any ordinary scorpion, but it had different characteristics and was unique, and it was the deadliest of them all. It was a “Bitterness” scorpion, only one of its kind. Have you ever been attacked by this particular type of scorpion, or recognize it being active and overbearing in your environment? There are times when things happen that it sticks its tail so deeply in you that it can be hard to bear, distressful, and sorrowful. Especially when you feel there is no action left to take because everything is out of our control. It can be so toxic and drain the life out of you literally, and what is so disheartening is that many times you cannot undo what’s happened either, especially if you are dead.
You may be wondering how do I know so much about this particular scorpion called “Bitterness”? Well, just to let you know, I do not specialize in anthropods, but in the counseling world, there is a fancy term called “embitterment.” It is known as a negative feeling in reaction to adverse life events and a reactive emotion towards injustice, insult, or breach of trust. I work in the helping profession of mental health. I help people speak about their challenges, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Anyhow, let me not bore you to death with my scorpion or fancy terminologies.
I had this client that this scorpion showed up in her life at a very young age, and it was her stepfather that brought it in. Anytime she did anything wrong, he would become angry and hold unto it for months, sadly even years. From this, it turned into bouts of anger and rage, eventually him teaching her hands-on experience if you know what I mean. Every day she was reminded of all of her shortcomings, as she needed to learn to be better, yet what she did learn was to be bitter. She became a master student in this area and walked away with honors and her degree. She learned how to pick up this scorpion and knew precisely when and how to use it in her life.
See, this client is me, and that was my life, and it is not something I am proud of. I have battled with shame and guilt in just how easily I allowed this ugly thing to rear it’s head and poison different parts of my life, yet knowing what I know today it was ingrained at a very young age, and it became part of who I was, not who I was intended to be. It caused significant collateral damage throughout my life with friends, family, and even upon myself, I have the battle wounds to prove it.
The thing with scorpions is its unique venom; thus, they all have different toxicities. They use their venom to paralyze and kill their prey in self-defense. Fun fact, even small young scorpions can inject you with the same amount of venom as adults; that’s how potent they are. So that’s to tell you no matter the size of your scorpion (bitterness), it can be as just as deadly. To stop this toxicity in my life, I had to learn to get rid of pain after many years later and begin applying specific steps, and even then, it still has a way of creeping in and rearing its head at me! Below are some practical steps I have learned and visited too many times that has helped me overcome this particular scorpion.
For starters, I had to begin by asking myself some hard questions:
- What happened that upsets you?
- What are the things that eat at you about what’s happened?
- I had to learn to forgive but only at my own pace, not how others were telling me to. Forgiveness is a powerful tool and a great release.
- I had to learn to forgive myself for the damage I caused due to my unforgiveness, lashing out, and resentfulness; this was pivotal, which may be hard for but will help to move forward out of being bitter and becoming better.
- I had to look at things from a new or different perspective.
- Lastly, I had to learn how to seek help at times, it was tough doing it by myself, and it literally would take the life right out of me, and I felt lost in how to heal and move forward. This is one of the most powerful steps, in my opinion, because it kills the pride in you when you go and ask for help. We were not created to do life alone. Iron sharpens iron.
In actuality, holding onto this scorpion (bitterness) will only keep you stagnant, captive, and eventually will kill you. They say that bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The truth is that you are not only mad at your situation but also yourself. Learn to use the steps that have been essential in my life because bitterness has a way of creeping back in without knowing it.
Each heart knows its bitterness, and no one else can share its joy (Proverbs 14:10).
Carrier’s of Hope,
Breathing Hope One Life at a Time