How to Emotionally Detox

Welcome my friend! We’re going to enjoy a lovely cuppa by the waterfront today. My favorite place to sit & enjoy a moment of reflection. 

We have our take away coffee’s from the Cafè, our delicious treats from the bakery & have found a spot with a table & bench under the Gum trees overlooking the bay.

The waves are lapping upon  the shoreline, the sea gulls are squawking, the sun is shining & there is a heavy scent of sweet nectar from the flowering Gums. Truly delightful!

This week at a ladies morning tea, a dear lady gave her testimony, it was centered around having hung onto hurt, pain & trauma from others. So much so that it had physically poisoned her body & made her very ill, it was literally killing her!

Are you emotionally stuck?

In my personal & professional life I have crossed paths with many people who have become emotionally stuck.

In fact they get so emotionally stuck in a past hurt, from a soured relationship or a traumatic event that their life from that point is constantly viewed through dark colored lenses.

In other words everything gets filtered through that hurt, coloring the rest of their life in a negative veil of emotional pain.

This not only greatly impacts their quality of life but also the lives of those who love them!

Have you ever met anyone like this?

Or maybe you see yourself here?

Let’s look at what living in the past does to the present…

Relationships colored by unforgiveness

Maybe someone hurt you by their actions or inactions, maybe not necessarily in a deliberate act on their part but none the less it deeply hurt you.

This emotional pain may even have truly traumatized or angered you.

Since that event you have not been able to forgive that person for the emotional pain & hurt you experience.

But here’s the problem with holding onto emotional pain, unforgiveness & anger…it binds you to that hurt & the person who hurt you.

And it will continue to bind you to that traumatic event & time period until you release it.

Unforgiveness & anger hold us captive to that past emotional pain!

And all our relationships will be tainted by that unforgiveness. Because unforgiveness doesn’t stagnate it morphs.

Unforgiveness & anger morph into bitterness

Have you ever come across a bitter person?

Let’s look at this more closely with the following statement from Dr Leon Seltzer in Psychology Today…

“…Stephen Diamond, Ph.D., defines bitterness as “a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment,” and regards it as “one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions.”

If we repeatedly ruminate over how we’ve been victimized, “nursing” wrongs may eventually come to define some essential part of who we are. Take hold of our very personality. We’ll end up becoming victims not so much of anyone else but of ourselves.” Ref

“Bitterness is one of the most destructive & toxic of human emotions.” 

I too have found this to be the case in both my professional & personal life.

In my personal life I have been on the receiving end of two significant other’s bitterness over a past hurt they had experienced. And let me tell you it has been very toxic & destructive indeed!

Not only has our relationship been severely impacted but all related relationships of these significant others, through their toxic attempts at control & manipulation have been severely impacted.

You see bitterness leaves a path of destruction in its wake & if left unchecked will leave a very sad & lonely legacy behind for the embittered person. 


Bitterness can become so entrenched that as Stephen stated above it will take hold of that person’s very personality…they end up becoming victims not so much of anyone else but of themselves!

You see nurturing a hurt produces a malignant growth of anger which can be likened to cancer, that eventually takes over & turns into a embittered way of life .

And then sadly any attempt at reconciliation from those who may have caused that hurt or even perceived as causing it will be ignored, blocked or brushed aside. 

The need to detox

If you see yourself here as the One who has held onto hurt, no matter how big or small & know its morphing or has morphed into toxic emotions & it will my friend.

Then its time for a detox. And there’s no time like the present to start that detoxification process.

And before you think, ‘Jennifer you don’t know what you’re asking’, I can tell you my friend that I have been at the cross roads of choosing to hold on to hurt & pain or release it several times throughout my life. More shared in Forgiving the Unthinkable

But each time I stood at that cross roads I realized that one direction led to the death of my unique personality (as quoted above) & the other direction led to new growth & maturity into who I have uniquely created to be!

How to Detox

The first thing to do is go to a place where you can be alone with God. Next ask God to help you through prayer to give up that hurt you’re so tightly hanging onto which is actually killing your very personality!

Then either verbally forgive the person who hurt you, out loud before God in your own private space, or write down the hurt on paper & then burn that paper as a physical symbol that you have truly released it to the Lord as a sweet smelling sacrifice of surrender, release & forgiveness.

Then allow God to fill that space with His Holy Spirit’s peace & forgiveness that passes all understanding.

And when memories come to mind of that past hurt, just remind yourself that God has already taken that hurt & pain, no longer is it your’s to hang onto nor does it have any hold over you!

For we are implored to,

“Let all bitterness, anger, rage, bad temper, resentment, quarreling & malice of any kind be released… becoming kind, tender hearted, compassionate,  understanding,  forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.”

Ephesians 5: 31-32

Until next time,


You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook


© 2021 Jennifer M. Ross All Rights Reserved. Photo by Vera Arsic on 

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22 thoughts on “How to Emotionally Detox

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  1. This is such a beautiful (and important) post Jennifer. Letting go of hurt and forgiveness is so vital to our wellbeing. I can’t remember who said it, but I read once that holding onto unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Sometimes we have to make the choice to forgive and turn it over to God more than once, but over time, He will change our hearts and allow us to heal. Blessings to you sweet friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pam! Yes, it starts so subtly doesn’t it!
      With ‘processing’ a hurt which is really holding onto a hurt, no matter how big or small & then it starts to grow little by little into unforgiveness until it takes over. Morphing into bitterness along the way.
      I’m so glad we have such an amazing Savior that paved the way of forgiving & forgiveness. Bless you sweet friend. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jennifer, the definition of bitterness as a “smoldering resentment” is such a powerful thought and image. It exists without any outward expression. It’s there, always presents, until one day it combusts. No wonder Paul implores us to get rid of or release it, before it does the intended harm. May God bless you for sharing this wisdom!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the new picture of you. Very jaunty. I think the saddest reality is that we can’t change other people who hold onto bitterness towards us once we have done all we can to reconcile.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wise words – I’ve found I can let go of those hurts. The hard part is when the hurt keeps happening over and over. I’ve learned to start praying for those people – that they would fulfill God’s plans for their life, that they would draw closer and He would provide their needs. It is only through praying this way that I’ve actually found relief for those that repeatedly hurt over and over. Yet it is so important to let go – so that I am not embittered!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful advice, Jennifer. I have known people who have allowed a bad experience to color the way they see their whole lives. The negative just seems to snowball, getting bigger and bigger, and having more impact as time goes on. Your post reminded me of this quote by Henri Nouwen: ” Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly.”


  6. Dear Jennifer,
    Oh, yes, I can identify with what you have shared here for myself as well. Especially as you shared how the bitterness can overflow onto those we love too. I was involved for many years praying for some dear ones who had been deeply wounded, and who had themselves then moved from unforgiveness into bitterness. One day as I was praying for them, I heard the Lord asking me to look at the bitterness within my own heart. I was shocked to realize that I had joined in with the bitterness. Oh what conviction flowed over me. Since that time, it is something that I find myself asking God to keep fresh in my heart: forgiveness is such a gift from Him. Thank you for sharing this truth today. Blessings and love to you, dear friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blessings & love to you sweet friend! Thank you for sharing your experience here Bettie. You have raised an important aspect, that bitterness can be contagious if we aren’t vigilant in guarding our hearts in its presence!


  7. Jennifer, excellent post, unforgiveness and bitterness are so insidious we often deceive ourselves about them. Thank you for such good advice about both the problem and the solution!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely Anita! That is a real danger when we are hurt & wounded because ‘dressing the wound’ actually gives an initial outlet for our upset emotions at that time. But then harbouring the wound & hurt becomes very toxic indeed.


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