How to Get One's Mind Right to Start Getting Better Not Bitter
Photo by Brian Hart

How to Get One's Mind Right to Start Getting Better Not Bitter

One of the quotes I shared on Facebook this week was this: "You either get bitter or you get better. It's that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you." Josh Shipp

This quote spurred a question from a friend of mine and it got my wheels turning. So, I got to thinking, how can this quote be aligned with the concept of getting one's mind right?

Most of the time when I think about this concept, I think about getting right with God, because I believe that is a necessary starting point. Refusing to acknowledge God as my refuge kept me searching for things that could never give me the peace, happiness, and contentment I was after. It wasn't until I let go of the control and let God guide my steps that I finally felt hope and peace.

I think making the decision to get better (and being willing to make this decision day after day) has a lot to do with accepting God into our lives. When we follow after God's heart and we accept him as our refuge, it's hard to focus on bitterness.

Maybe you're not ready to take this step – that's ok. No one is forcing you. I share my thoughts and experiences because I know how much it has helped Harold and me, individually and in our marriage. We wouldn't be the people we are today had we not learned about a relationship with God.  

While we're working on having faith or trusting in God's plan, there are many practical things we can do to work toward getting the mind right. Some of these things are hard to swallow because they reveal things about us that we would rather leave under the rug. But in order to set ourselves on the path to getting better with each new experience, as much as it might hurt, we need to start acknowledging them and working toward releasing their hold on us.

So, aside from what I already mentioned, how can you work on this area of your life to get your mind right?

  • Turn away from evil (don't let it taint your own actions, thoughts, words, etc.)
  • Treat people (especially your spouse) with love and respect.
  • Be someone who can be loved and respected (it's not an entitlement).
  • Be supportive to your spouse through encouragement and love.
  • View marriage as a team effort.
  • See your spouse as a teammate (not as the enemy or as an opponent).
  • Pray for your spouse.
  • Pray for other people.
  • Take responsibility for your own actions and behavior.
  • Recognize how your behavior affects other people.
  • Don't justify hurtful behavior.
  • Take responsibility for your own mistakes.
  • Stop blaming other people for what has gone wrong in your life.
  • Stop dwelling on the past and start embracing the present.
  • Let go of grudges.
  • Let go of judgments.
  • Stop focusing on complaints.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Learn the hard lessons.
  • See experiences as an opportunity for personal growth.
  • Be willing to seek help.
  • Be careful what messages you allow into your life.
  • Fight to see the good things in people.
  • Fight to see joy every day.
  • Focus on the blessings.

Working on these things will help us see positive changes happening in our lives and we'll set ourselves on the path to getting our minds right and getting better instead of bitter. But this isn't just a one-time thing. For some of us, it's a constant battle. And that's ok. Sometimes the harder we have to fight for something, the more we are able to appreciate the journey because we learn how much it took to get there. The important thing to remember is to keep fighting to get better each and every day.

Jody Calkins
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