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Bitter or Better

Bitter or Better

A few nights ago I went to see the new Tyler Perry movie, Acrimony. I have never been much on revenge but this saga takes it to a new level. I won’t spoil it for you but suffice it to say, you will get a great lesson in the evolution of bitterness. It just reminds me of a conversation I had several months ago.
Not long after my divorce was over. I received a message from a Facebook “friend” asking me to go out to dinner, he explained that he was looking for a new relationship and then commenced to tell me all the things his EX had done to destroy their marriage. He was clearly bitter and angry about the outcomes.Yes, you know what I did next —BLOCK. But that encounter made me think about my self and what kind of person I wanted to become over the next weeks and months as I walked the journey of “uncoupling.”
Right then, I made the decision that regardless of the outcomes, I was going to be a joyful positive minded person. It was a conscious decision. Though often challenged; it was one that has kept my heart and mind in a “happy place.”
We do not get to determine everything that happens to us. We don’t get to pick everyone who becomes a part of our lives. Some decisions come already made. But we do get to decide how we are going to look at them. We do get to choose what we are going to feel about them. We get to make our responses “choices” that lead us down paths to being better people.
Just like the character Malinda Gayle, there is nothing sadder than a jaded divorcee bent on blaming their EX for everything wrong in their life. In reality, no human being has that much power over you, unless you choose to give it to them. Regardless of what transpired in the course of the relationship, it took two people to create the present outcome whether good or bad.
In light of that truth, we have to decide what effect we will allow those circumstance, failures and/or mistakes to have upon us. It is our choice. We can reshape the circumstances by choosing to make the most of a difficult situation. We can study in the classroom of our failures allowing the lessons to make us wiser tomorrow. And we can use the mistakes as signposts on the pathway to guide us as we once again, attempt to get it right.
It is really all about choices. We can grow better. Or we can grow bitter. We can become wiser or we can become a despiser. We can make progress or we can regress. We can use the experiences of our lives as the tool that shaped our heart into tender places where the stones have been removed and the flower of love can grow again. Or those same experiences can become the knife that shapes our tongue into a spear that cuts and slices with every angry bitter word.
It really is a choice. Choose wisely.

Post Author: Stella Payton

Stella Payton is principal of Making People Priority Consulting Group. Over the past (25) years, she has worked with Apple Computer, Nordstrom, FedEx / Kinko's, VISTA, National Corporation for Service, P-B Health Home Care Agency Inc., The City of Los Angeles, Head Start, KCET Los Angeles Public Television, TurboTax, Child Fund, Memphis Public Schools and many others. For more about Stella Payton contact us at

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