Why do people feel the need to hold onto resentments, anger, and the like? Why is it so hard to forgive? What benefit does it really offer someone holding onto all that negativity towards another? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you from my perspective, the only benefit it’s ever served me was my mind telling me it was to protect my heart from ever getting hurt again. Yet ironically, harboring all that inner anger and resentment, thinking it was protecting my heart, was only ever hurting me anyway, keeping everyone at bay overall.
Losing so many people throughout my life from family to other loved ones truly left me jaded and feeling broken. For the longest time, I didn’t let anyone in and walked around with an incredible amount of anger and resentment and a wall around my heart. I refused to forgive those who had left my life feeling so broken, which in turn left me a very bitter and very alone individual in life.
Developing close friendships and intimate relationships with others takes having an open heart. It takes being vulnerable. It takes letting go of the past. And it takes forgiving those who we feel broke our hearts. So long as we hold on to the pain of the past, keeping a wall around our hearts, living in resentment and anger, we’ll never let in anyone long enough and deep enough for them to stick around to love us for the rest of our lives.
I’ve worked hard in my life to remain vulnerable, to forgive those who hurt me immensely, to keep my heart open, which in turn has led to experiencing a closeness with friends and loved ones I wasn’t able to prior. People often open up with me now, feeling safe to do so, because I don’t walk around with a sword out and a shield up, like I once did, ready to stab the next person who came along and said or did anything that reminded me of the people I was still harboring anger and resentment towards.
Here’s the simple reality I came to see through it all. If you really want to be free of anger and resentment, if you truly want to experience closeness in your life, and don’t want to feel alone in this world, I’ve learned it means forgiving those that hurt us, I’ve learned it means not comparing others to those who hurt us in the past, and I’ve learned it means always keeping an open heart.
The only person who really ever ends up hurting by harboring anger and resentments towards another, by not forgiving anyone who led us to feel broken, is ourselves. Because in harboring any anger and resentments from the past will only leave us bitter and alone, complaining the world has done us wrong, when really it’s only ourselves that has done us wrong, by not practicing forgiveness and doing what we can to keep our heart open for new love to enter our lives…
Peace, love light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson