For All Those Who Keep A Wall Around Their Heart…

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

One Very Strong Reason Why Many Relationships Tend To Fail Is…

One very strong reason why many relationships tend to fail is when one or both partners stop showing how much each other matters and instead take it for granted.

I think it’s very easy to fall into this state in a relationship where one stops doing all those special things that came so naturally during those first years together. Why people fall into this state could be for any number of reasons, countless really. In my case though, it was always pure selfishness and laziness in each of my past relationships, where I just assumed they knew they mattered to me just because I was still there with them. I see so clearly now how incredibly self-centered I was for thinking that then.

Thankfully today I know it’s in the little things that make the biggest difference in showing my partner matters. When my partner asks for a favor now, I don’t say “in a minute” and continue watching some tv show or playing a video game. Because I know if I was in the same situation, it’s what I’d want back. But how many times though in my past relationships did I yell from another room, saying “I’ll be there in a minute”, where more than a minute went by, usually plenty of minutes really, where sometimes I even forgot altogether to do the favor at all. None of which shows the partner they matter.

Even beyond the whole favor thing, showing my partner they matter also means leaving special love notes at times in weird places for him to find, doing my partner’s chores so he doesn’t have to and instead can rest, remembering things he said in conversation and repeating it back to him later to show him I was listening, giving him unique gifts from things he always wanted but probably would never get for himself, complimenting him regularly on how attractive he looks, listening to him share without judgment, offering him tokens of non-sexual affection like a head or neck massage, going to places he likes to dine at that I may not even like myself, and more. Unfortunately, my partner struggles greatly with all this, which has led to me feeling like I don’t matter to him on far too many days. Truthfully, it’s become our most discussed topic these days and something that has even challenged my sobriety from former addictions at times.

While being single and alone can be very difficult and create feelings of aloneness and not mattering, it’s just as difficult when you’re in a committed relationship and feel the exact same way . It’s been extremely challenging to live with a partner where I often feel more of a burden to him than mattering. The hard part is that I know my partner loves me, as I can feel it energetically at times, but as he continues to face his own inner demons and struggle to let them fully go, his ego often gets the best of him, where “in a minute” becomes more the norm than being there for me when I really need a helping hand or a loving embrace.

The bottom line is that many relationships tend to fail when one or both partners start taking each other for granted and stop doing those special, unique, and little things on a regular basis that show each other matters. As it’s in those little things partners do for each other that really make the biggest difference and always provide the greatest reminders of why the two are together in the first place, even after many years of being together.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

“I’m The Friend Who’s Going To Tell You The Truth When Everyone Else Is Afraid To…”

“I’m the friend who’s going to tell you the truth when everyone else is afraid to…”

Have you ever had a friend say something like that to you? I have and honestly, I really don’t need that type of friend in my life, because typically what follows a statement like that is nothing more than ego-filled judgments weighted in negativity.

Our world is filled with plenty of people judging each other all the time these days, but that’s most definitely something I don’t want or need in any friendship, as I’ve been judged unfairly throughout much of my life, starting with a mother who saw more of the critical in me than the good. But, I’ve worked hard to move beyond that, to let that part of her go, yet I find myself still in connection at times with people who remind me of her, who have the tendency to point out where they feel I could do better in life, highlighting more of their perceived notion of my flaws and shortcomings, rather than praising any of my positive traits. People like this rarely tend to own their own flaws and shortcomings and are so quick to point out another’s.

I used to be quite proficient at this, thinking I always knew better about those in my life, letting them know exactly what I thought, typically judging them profusely in the process, believing it was the right thing to do, “because no one else was ever going to tell them the truth”. All that did though was cause them more pain and drive a wedge between me and them. It’s one thing I can say my friend Cedric and I work very hard not to do with each other, which is why we’ve probably been the best of friends for almost a quarter century now. We don’t point out each other’s flaws or imperfections, or judge what we think either of us should or shouldn’t be doing, or ever focus on areas we believe each other could be doing better in life. Rather, we concentrate more on offering each other acts of compassion, kindness, and praise, and hold space for each other, even when we get stuck in extended periods of self-pity or frustration.

Recently, when someone close to me did exactly the opposite of this with me, offering me their “truth”, suggesting I enjoyed wallowing in self-pity and wanted to remain sick, it hurt immensely, because it wasn’t true on any level. It completely discounted the countless hours and work I’ve put into getting healthier by remaining physically active, eating healthy, meditating, praying, reciting affirmations, writing daily gratitude, volunteering, blogging about it all, and more. To say what they did immediately reminded me so vividly of a mother who was far better at criticism than praise. Why people become like this, believing it’s ok to share the “truth” they think they see in a friend, I believe solely stems from their ego, as it makes them temporarily feel better about themselves. Essentially, it lowers their friend, while temporarily raising themselves. At it’s core, it’s an unhealthy behavior that generally traces back to a parent or a former peer from childhood who did the very same thing to them.

While there have been certain key moments of my life when I have wanted a friend to “tell me the truth when no one else is going to”, such as when I was living in addiction and directly hurting myself or them, doing so otherwise isn’t spiritually healthy and is only going to lead to the demise of the friendship, as true friends need love and compassion far more than they need criticism and judgment, especially when going through any of those dark tunnels of life, no matter how long those dark tunnels may last…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson