"Whatever you hold on to will hold on to you" I read that quote today on one of my favorite blogs. I know this to be true because I have made the mistake of holding on to ugly things for far too long. And I don't mean my clogs from the eighties. I mean negative energy that brings sickness on the body. Unforgiveness, anger, ongoing frustration, and hurt feelings actually cause our bodies to become acidic, which is the perfect environment for diseases to thrive. This year has been one of the worst of my life. Perhaps the worst year ever. I will be so happy to see it go and to have a fresh start in January.
I guess I think that because I try so hard to glorify God that maybe I should have some special favor upon me. My children shouldn't get so sick that we consider a midnight visit to the emergency room. I shouldn't wake up to a swollen infected eye that looks so hideous I wonder if my eye and skin will be permanently damaged. I shouldn't have to deal with arthritis and all its unpleasant symptoms. I shouldn't have insomnia. I shouldn't have back pain. I shouldn't have dental problems since I take excellent care of my teeth. And I shouldn't have to deal with thoughtless people. That's an incomplete list of the ugly things that came my way this year.
But life doesn't hold back pain for people who are good. And sometimes the ugly things are a result of our own doing. For example, several years ago I fell while skating backwards. That decision to go roller skating in my late forties led to my back problems. That was my doing. Also, I believe my insomnia is the result of my taking a prescription drug that should not be on the market. Drugs can cause permanent neurological damage and sometimes death. But I trusted my doctor and paid the price. That was my own doing. I should have researched the side effects.
I could blame God for letting these things happen, but what would that get me? If I hold on to resentment, then I can add one more thing to my list of ailments. Because anger and resentment have been proven to make people physically sick. Whatever I hold on to will hold on to me. So I have to let it go. I have to make amends with those who hurt me. I have to forgive. I can't go on rehearsing things I should have said that really would have stuck it to them. I have to lay it all down and walk away from it. Only God is big enough to deal with hurt that big. If I hang on to it, it will destroy me.
I can tell when someone is holding on to resentment. Their body language gives them away. They are impatient and often sarcastic. Their words come out like bullets, with the intention of harming others. When they speak, you can see the annoyance on their faces. They are hanging on to past hurts and that hurt is hanging on to them. That hurt has changed the way they relate to others and it's changed the way they view life. They are angry people walking around spreading their anger everywhere they go. And because of this, they can't attract anything good into their lives. That wall of resentment keeps the good things out and they remain imprisoned in a mud hole of their own making.
I've learned that the quickest way to get rid of resentment is to start praying for those who hurt you. Do anything you can to restore the relationship. Make a phone call, write a letter, go see the person and let him or her know that you want to let it go. For your own peace of mind, speak your mind and put it to rest. I did this recently and after talking to the person, I realized that the relationship can't be restored because I simply can't trust her. When I can't trust people, I don't want to be around them. It's okay to distance yourself from people who don't bring anything good into your life. That's not resentment that's self-preservation.
With a new year right around the corner, it might be a good idea to ask yourself if you're hanging on to any past hurts. If you are, don't take them with you into the next year. Set yourself free from the ugliness you've wrapped yourself in and see the difference it will make in your life. I can tell you from experience, it's like walking out of a dark cave into the bright abundant life God intended for you. You will begin to attract blessings again. People will notice that you talk differently and you are pleasant to be around. The energy you give to the world will always reflect back on you, positive or negative. So the one who benefits most from letting go of past hurts is you.