People who are negative and angry all the time usually don’t even know they are. At the source of it always seems to be the same thing, a closed heart.
The exact reason why I was so negative and angry for most of my life was due to the wall I had erected around my heart, which stemmed from all the pain I endured from parental alcoholism, being bullied, molested, and the like. I kept that wall around my heart solely for protection, as I had been hurt so much that I felt I needed it to feel safe. It was far easier to watch people walk out of my life with my heart closed, compared to when it wasn’t. But, keeping that wall around my heart ultimately led to a very lonely life, which in turn led to bitterness, and finally a life of negativity and anger. But I think it’s human nature to desire companionship in some form, so from time to time, I’d drop that wall around my heart long enough to let someone in for a time. Yet inevitably, at some point, something would trigger my fear of my heart getting hurt again. Maybe it was an argument, or a fight, or my trust getting broken, it didn’t matter, because there was always something that triggered me enough to erect that wall around my heart again and push the person away as quickly as I drew them in. I could always predict the end of my relationships because I was the one always pushing the other person away by constantly raising that wall back up around my heart. It wasn’t until recently did I finally begin to see what this behavior was like when I was on the other side of it with someone doing it to me.
Two years ago, I met someone and learned their father had abandoned them at 12 years old, leaving them to figure it all out, essentially to raise themselves. I could relate given how distant my parents were through much of my own upbringing. Regardless, I could see they had a wall up around their heart from the onset, which I’m sure could be traced all the way back to their father’s abandonment of them. I showed them I cared, and in a short period of time, I felt their wall come down. It wasn’t long after that they expressed how much they truly cared about me and for a while, we were inseparable as friends, hanging out all the time, and talking daily. We never argued and any hours we spent together flew by. But, one day, after a heated discussion, I felt their wall begin to reappear. I kept trying to get it to come back down, but I think each time I did, it only seemed to raise it even more. Eventually, I stopped feeling their compassion, love, and understanding altogether, which was so contrary to how they were prior. From that point forward, the only thing I ever noticed was them being irritable and angry with any subject that I brought up, especially when my opinion on it didn’t match theirs. When that finally got directed at me one afternoon in front of two other friends, embarrassing me in the process, and upsetting them as well, I tried to explain to my friend how unsettling it was, which only led to me being hung up on over the phone. While I haven’t heard from them since, I have only love and compassion in my heart now for them because I know at the source of it all for them is a closed heart, one that I’d place money on stems all the way back to when it first began, when their father abandoned them.
The fact is, any person with a closed heart usually carries a pre-recorded tape deeply embedded within it that says, “I’m going to push you away before you push me away…” And as soon as anything threatens to even hurt their heart in the slightest, the door into it gets closed, the wall gets raised, and the person once in it, is quickly pushed out. The sad thing about living this way, is that the end of every relationship is already written before it really even gets a chance to begin. My friend used to say to me how they always could predict when all their relationships were going to end. I hope one day they’ll finally realize that’s only because they have always been the one writing it themselves by keeping their heart more closed than open.
That’s why I’d rather have my heart remain open, even if it does get hurt from time to time. Because, a closed heart means a closed life, and a closed life means never knowing the true depth of love that can come when one heart connects to another for life…something that I see so clearly now, especially with God…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson