Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bitter or Better?

One of the things I think adoptive parents battle daily is bitterness. The things we have been put through by our children can make us cynical and angry where we begin to focus only on the negative. The moments of joy that we are given each day are overshadowed by the not so fun times and we have to constantly remind ourselves of the good in our lives. When we are asked about our journey we tend to focus on the negative instead of looking for the positive.

I went to a conference about anger over 10 years ago and something was said that really struck me. He said that if you have an orange in your hand, and you squeeze it, orange juice will come out. But that you can't get orange juice out of a lemon. In other words, if there is no anger inside you, then no matter how much circumstances squeeze you, the anger won't come out unless it's there already.

I have often asked myself that over the years since. "What am I angry about? Why is this particular child getting to me today? What unresolved anger do I have in my heart?"

Everything that happens to me can make me bitter or it can make me better. At this point I still feel that it's my choice. Maybe some day I'll get to the point where I don't feel I can choose anything but bitterness but for now I am still choosing to let what happens make me better.

But for now I'm holding to the Edwin Markham quote:

Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.


Shantra said...

Thank you yet again for reminding me that we have a choice!

Gawdessness said...

I needed this today - Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am glad the orange and lemon juice analogy helped you. I am more of a word than a picture person. So, I just learned, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."

Anger comes from my heart not my daughter's behaviors. Funny thing. I don't like to believe it. So, I am in church one day and the pastor says, "God will always put someone in your life to show you how ugly your heart is -- the person acts sort of like your spiritual dipstick."

Well, I adopted my dipstick...