“The Voice of Fear insists that the challenges you have gone through permanently scarred you. And the cost of listening to your fear can probably be most clearly seen in the patterns that plague you, whether they be repetitive cycles of self-sabotage, addiction, or relationship conflicts with lovers, friends, coworkers, or family members. These patterns might show up on your body or in your finances. But the steepest cost of all is that they undermine your courage and your confidence.
To enter the state of heartful compassion, we must search out and find what is weighing us down in the form of resentments and grudges. But for many of us, this requires that we first awaken from our denial. We often forget that we’re holding this undigested anger as we distract ourselves with the pleasurable addictions that obscure the emotional truth. These are the habits and cravings that leave us with nothing more than short-lived feel-good moments rather than the long-term inner peace that we seek. And even if we are keenly aware that we’re carrying grudges and resentments toward our exes, our bosses, or certain family members, we seem to use this knowledge as a defense mechanism. It becomes a shield that we use to build up a false sense of confidence and make ourselves feel better, all the while oblivious to the true cost of harboring these grudges.
We cannot have an open heart while we are carrying the burdens of the past. We cannot allow ourselves to experience our own grace and ease when we have our hearts closed to any part of the world. And we need not wait, as most do, until our death—whether it be an emotional, spiritual, or physical death—to drop the “rocks of the negative feelings we’re harboring toward others. Most of us have many rocks, many grudges. We can let ourselves be weighed down by the rocks of resentments from our past, or we can drop them through the power of forgiveness. The choice is ours.”
Excerpt From: Debbie Ford & Wayne W. “Courage”