Bitterness has a way of festering and growing. When I don't let it go it has a way of attracting other latent bitter feelings and soon they're all glomming together and the next thing you know, it's a big ol' ball of prickles.
Yesterday, I felt like I had a big prickly ball where my heart should have been. Everything rubbed me the wrong way and got stuck on those prickly thorns. I was crabbing at the kids as we left for church. (seat belt not working right, why'd you leave the door open, what is the matter with you?) I snapped at the oldest boy when we were getting settled in church. (Just pick a seat, it's not rocket science.)
I felt so ugly on the inside that I didn't even want to hear the words of absolution after confession. I mentally had my fingers in my ears and was saying "lalalala" so I could not hear them, let alone feel them.
I didn't deserve to be forgiven for my attitude or anything else, but no one does so that wasn't the point. I did not want to be forgiven. I just wanted to stew in my prickles. I didn't want to get anyone else stuck on my prickles but I'm sure my family felt it.
The first softness I felt in heart was when I saw *N*'s nerves as he sat through a First Communion class. He was nervous as I sat beside him and that made my heart ache. As friends gave me hugs "hello" I tried to hide my prickles. Most noticed I was not myself but I told them I was "fine" and they let me be. (Stewing in my prickles and in the shame I felt at feeling so prickly.)
The oldest boy bought me Swedish fish and left them on the seat of my car. (He does have empathy and notices when someone is out of sorts..or it could be that I told him if he didn't change his attitude during church it would be a long time before he drove my car and perhaps I could get my money back for the Driver's Ed class I'd just paid for...I was witchy, I admit it. Aren't you glad you weren't living with me yesterday?)
When we got home, I went to my room and cried hot tears into my pillow. I was feeling like a brat and trying so hard not to rant at the Husband about all the things getting me down, things that would surely hurt his feelings because he would like for the same things to be different.
It was in this self-imposed time out that I realized how bitterness over one little thing had grown into a raging, prickly ball of discontent over everything. I have so much to be thankful for and yet, all sorts of stuff got stuck on my prickles and it "snowballed". (Pardon the mixed imagery. I live in western New York where snow is part of life. ;) Perhaps I should have said I had a dirty snowball where my heart should have been? )
I don't want pity. I don't want suggestions for how to go about fixing things. I want to keep smiling and fake it 'til I make it. Somehow though, yesterday I was just angry at the world and I wanted to stew in it (alone) and that isn't always easy to do..be alone in my life. I did not want to bring anyone else down or say anything hurtful but I know my actions and attitude impacted others.
At some point I was able to smile and appreciate my life again. I was able to be thankful for what I did have instead of wishing for something more or different.
I can take my fingers out of my ears now. :)