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I Like My Coffee Bitter, Like My Heart

As I step into church on Sunday morning, I clutch my latte mug as though it’s my tie to earth. The lady guarding the door shifts as I approach. Her hand blocks my way. “Sorry but we don’t allow drinks in here. You can stand over there and finish your coffee,” she says sweetly. I am immediately pissed.

I look over at the three people standing nearby with their coffee cups. They are smiling, engrossed in a conversation. It’s way too early to talk.

I mutter to my husband, “There’s no way I’m drinking this whole thing right now.” He suggests putting it in the car. I’ve had like 5 hours of sleep and all I want to do is sit in church with my latte! I am furious.


I notice my ridiculous thoughts.

1) I should just go home. That would show them.

2) Stupid idiot people that spill their drinks and ruin it for the rest of us.

3) Rules are dumb.

4) How dare she tell me what to do.

I am angry like someone lit a match in my chest cavity. We wander back and it takes all my effort to smile politely when she thanks me and touches my arm. As the band starts playing I notice three girls in the next row. They each have a coffee cup sitting on the floor next to them. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

The main singer pauses between a song and says that he senses that there are people today who are bitter. I answer in my head, “Yep, me.”

His comment throws me slightly off kilter because when I think about this fire of bitterness that is burning internally, my mind says, “Well then just let it go.”

I answer back, “No it’s mine. I can hold it if I want to.”

Hmmm. Okaaay. That response was slightly unexpected.

The singing eventually stops and the service begins as I dissect the fire. I am angry because in the moment she “told me what to do” I forgot that I am an adult, perhaps due to my lack of sleep, and suddenly became a kid again.

When we were little, my brother and I hated going to church. We’d fake sleep, but were forced to get up. The clothes I wore were not dressy enough so I would have to redress in something my parents picked out. Then it was the stress, which included all the small fights on the way to church, so that when we stepped through the doors we could be perfect and calm.

But I am an adult now.

All that was required to rid myself of the bitterness was simply a willingness to let it go. But I held it because I wanted to be right and justified, because I wanted to keep holding it.

Maybe it was my resentment against people telling me what to do, or a way to lash out at the ways I felt powerless in my past, when I felt had to comply.

Fair or not fair, this incident wasted roughly an hour of my time and only hurt me. It’s amazing how, as adults, our subconscious has no age and no grasp on the timelines of our lives. It throws triggers out at random.

When I realized, of course, that I was the one being stubborn, it was easy to let it go.

All it took was my willingness to let it go.
That is all.



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Coffee im Valentinstags by Brenda Annerl is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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About Z Zoccolante (1 Articles)
Z Zoccolante is an author, actress, and fairytale dreamer. Z loves to laugh and is deeply fascinated by a good fairytale villain. Her debut memoir will one day help others, who are trying to recover from eating disorders, attain happiness and freedom. Originally from Hawai’i, she now lives in LA.

11 Comments on I Like My Coffee Bitter, Like My Heart

  1. Thank you for writing a well articulated and direct short story about your experience. It’s so true! All it takes is the willingness to let go. Feels better to be in peace than resentment. I love this article I needed this today 🙂

  2. Wow! You are sooo cool! I appreciate your willingness to share your authentic inner experience. It’s in that place that we can share our true voices and build genuine connections to others, including God. We don’t have to pretend to be anything or anyone that we’re not for God to love us. God is a come as you are kinda guy and loves us with or without the Latte! Live a Latte!

  3. Like everyone else said, this article is so true. I love how honest you are with uncomfortable emotions we all go through at one point or another. I can totally relate and do notice similar situations in my own life. Which will lead me to try and let go of unneeded anger. Thank you again Z!

  4. It is refreshing to hear of your feelings and know that so many of us may have the same inner struggles – only you can express them with the magic of perfectly placed words that bear truth and reality. Your recollections as a child, and your analogies are wonderful. Hope to read more of your writings in the future.

  5. Well said. I agree; willingness is the key. The willingness to base my reaction on action and not feeling. Thank you for sharing! Love it.

  6. I would have been irritated at the coffee thing, too! I like that you were able to trace the feeling back to its origins and come out a more mature version of yourself. Impressive!

  7. Omg I just had a really similar experience yesterday in yoga class, and I thought of your article and I let it go! I realized I was putting something on the teacher without having any idea if she was actually directing her comment at me, and I decided not to ruin my own practice by making her comment personal. Had a great class–thank you!

  8. I would have tattle tailed on those girls!! Buwahahaha!! Just kidding! Thank you so much for sharing your personal thoughts, experience and feelings. 🙂 After reading your article it triggered some thoughts in my mind about my own stubbornness and how I have a choice to have an absolutely fantastic day or a blah day! Thank you for reminding me that the choice to have a fantastic day is as simple as just letting go…the WILLINGNESS to just let go!! I have enjoyed reading your blogs and look forward to reading more. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  9. BTW…your past articles have really helped me sort through my thoughts and view certain situations in a different light. I loved your frosted flakes article 🙂 By chance do you offer life coaching/counseling sessions?

  10. This was great! and Real!.. I really enjoyed the read.. Thank you! so much Z Zoccolante for sharing….

  11. Wow…seriously love this. I get into the worst state of mind -all negativity – when people tell me what to do. Even if I know there is a rule I don’t like having things shoved in my face. Sometimes I just have to step back and take a moment and breathe in five deep breaths. It helps me so much. Letting go is a concept I try to consciously work on every day. Whenever something doesn’t serve you, you have move on 🙂

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