Sometimes, without thinking, we accept something as part of our identity. Obviously we want good things to be a part of who we are. However, our experiences may lead us to internalize unpleasantness and even believe that our experiences determine who we are—inadvertently determining our thoughts and actions. However, when one sees how unsavory these outward feelings are, this may help urge a person to the path to drop the past. We can feel the freedom to give up bitterness and heartache from our past experiences only to let in more pleasant thoughts and activity.
Where to begin — how to give up bitterness and heartache
Where to begin may sounds harder in action than it does on paper or your computer screen. The Bible gives us counsel on how to begin:
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
—Ephesians 4:31, 32
To me, starting with forgiveness is the key. Mainly we can start by forgiving ourselves for past mistakes, or were pulled into by others. Even if we’ve done bad things, or helped cause a mistake, or were pushed into events caused by others, we need to let go of this past and redefine ourselves from a new basis.
Redefine yourself — spiritually
Making a change or redefining yourself may seem like an uphill battle. However, when we start by seeing ourselves spiritually, the way God, Spirit, made us, we’re freed from trying to give up bitterness and heartache on our own — attempting this through will-power or personal ability. Seeing ourselves spiritually is also how we cleanse ourselves of the past, inside-out—rinsing our being of mortal mistakes and sin.
By defining ourselves spiritually, we assert and lean on God who is Spirit, for help. By leaning on Spirit, divine Love, for help and Her saving and redeeming power we’re putting our hope and desires for healing into God’s loving and omnipotent hands. By leaning on Love’s power and strength we can feel strengthened and encouraged to embark on this new journey to see ourselves in a good light — to see we’re each worthy of love, forgiveness, and delight.
On the other hand, trying to remove the heartache of our past mistakes on through our own personal ability leaves us liable to failure, missteps, and confusion. Will-power is incapable of accomplishing what Love, the all-knowing and omnipotent Mind, can do. Will-power, hypnotism, and personality-based exercises and tests lead away from spirituality and into even more darker channels of thought and fear and are entirely devoid of light, because they lean on mortal modes of thinking, rather than the divine Mind that is the source of all intelligence and goodness.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. … But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
—Psalm 37:8, 11
Let Love take over your heart
Letting Love’s power reign in your heart, in the way Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy explains, helps and enables us to forgive — ourselves or others. Through God’s love and goodness we can drop the baggage of the past and move forward toward more joy, peace, and delight in our God-given goodness and righteousness.
By turning over the past, and digging into your spiritual identity, the way God defines you, you can find your true innocency and untouched purity. This purity and goodness can’t ever be marred or discolored by a mistake because the purity is actually God-given and God-protected—and so are you—eternally.
Through discernment of the spiritual opposite of materiality, even the way through Christ, Truth, man will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed, and will find himself unfallen, upright, pure, and free, not needing to consult almanacs for the probabilities either of his life or of the weather, not needing to study brainology to learn how much of a man he is.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.171:4