Posted by: thestruggle4akhirah | October 10, 2008

Why we hold onto anger and resentment.


Months of your life have passed by…. perhaps years. And in a quiet moment, a memory comes to you, and slowly there is a sadness growing inside of you. Maybe that sadness turns into anger. It’s been a long time, but either way, you haven’t let go yet. Frustration builds as you submit helplessly to the feeling of reliving a painful memory.  When will these feelings dissipate?

I asked myself the same question…… Actually. Forget that. I asked myself some deeper, more challenging questions than that! The deep, heavy stuff that gets to the real core of an issue. I’ll share the results of that intensity with all of you. =) What’s great about this post, is none of it is from a book. It’s my life too. I hope you can benefit from my own journey here as well.

So what did I discover when I explored this for my own self?

*Warning* Ego sensitive zone. Proceed with caution!

Move those egos aside: here comes the truth.

We hold onto the hurt, the anger, the resentment, because we fear that if we could let it go effortlessly, then whoever caused the pain in the first place, would be getting away with it too easily.

Huh? yea… I know. ZERO LOGIC PEOPLE!!  But if any of you out there loop painful memories in your head, and a long time has passed, (or even only 24 hours) then please re-read that statement. It’s bold. Its blunt. But truth is like that, isn’t it? Truth obliterates anything else in its path.

By holding on, you might still be searching for closure, and needing an apology from someone, again, or for the first time. You want to arrive at the moment with all the baggage in hand, to make sure they understand all the weight you have been carrying around. Seeking validation for your suffering, acknowledgment, and to be reassured, yes, indeed, you really were hurt.

The only problem here is that you will never be free of the hurt, anger, or pain so long as you are waiting for that grand moment to come. The perpetrator has a backstage pass into your mind anytime. You’re open 24/7. It’s like being free on a very very long chain. You can move in any direction you want in a circle, and stretch pretty far, but at any given moment, be snapped back to that time and place, and the one snapping you back is the very person who hurt you, and you are the one that gave them permission to be there.

You gave control of your happiness to someone else.

Does it affect the other person if you are wallowing in misery, crying your eyes out reliving the moment, staring at the cars going by on the road losing hours of your time? Nope!
Does it effect the other person if you let it go, and indulge your time in getting closer to Allah, helping a friend in need, and going to sleep with peace of mind knowing you made a choice to control your own happiness? Nope!

But both of them affect you. Which one do you want to choose?

There are different tools and exercises I’ve used as a coach to help others release and finally let go of hurt, anger, and resentment. However, none of them can work, for myself included, until the moment of truth arrives as to why we were holding on to begin with. Coming to this realization for my own self was pretty hard, because it meant that I was holding onto something that I KNOW is against logic. But once ego could be subdued, and truth came forth…. Well lets just say, there is A LOT more empty space in my mind. And that is a great thing!

I would like to invite all of you on this journey as well. Why let another day go past where you don’t take control of your own happiness?

It’s your life. How do YOU want to live it?




  1. “You gave control of your happiness to someone else.

    Does it affect the other person if you are wallowing in misery, crying your eyes out reliving the moment, staring at the cars going by on the road losing hours of your time? Nope!
    Does it effect the other person if you let it go, and indulge your time in getting closer to Allah, helping a friend in need, and going to sleep with peace of mind knowing you made a choice to control your own happiness? Nope!”

    jazaki Allahu khairan sister Megan! What a profound yet simple point ^^

    Keep up the great blog and superb life-coaching/inspiring. 😀

  2. this was right on time. i’m going to show it to my friend. i told her something like this earlier. what is your advise for more complicated situations that are not a matter of merely letting go? my driend isdivoucred and had her children taking away from her. she cries for her children but admits that she also cries for all that you have stated above. she wants her ex to feel her pain or understand her in some way. so your advice will help some for letting go of the ex but she shouldnt let go of the children. right now she is like the living dead. she even calls herself a zombie. she has been in limbo for 2 years now and is currently staying with me. any advice to her on how to get some stability in her llife. she literally lives out of a suitcase and travels around 3 countries!

  3. choosing to not practice forgiveness = choosing to oppress yourself. choosing to practice forgiveness = choosing to liberate yourself.

    the turning point for me was simply asking myself if i was willing to live according to who i know myself to be regardless to whoever/whatever and if i was willing to treat myself bi rahmah regardless of my shortcomings. this is the heart of forgiveness, being willing to let justice rather than grievance rule the heart and action. i agree, forgiveness has absolutely nothing to do with approval or validation of what others (or you) did. it’s just coming back to your principles and regaining wholeness.

    the difference between resentment and forgiveness is like looking at a scar and reminding yourself how you got it, who did what etc. versus looking at the scar and simply seeing that you healed and life moved on, alhamduliLlah.

  4. Wow – this is just what i needed to read right now. V. inspiring post! Jazaki Allah khiaran.

  5. For your friend, UmmAdam, perhaps you can suggest coaching for her, as she is more than welcome to email me for at least one session. Perhaps I can offer some assistance directly.

    Zahra, thanks for the encouragement!

    And Hibah, well spoken masha’Allah. I decided to leave out the idea of forgiving others with direct wording, as it seems we here it so often, but never realize the reason why we DO NOT do it, despite hearing about all the benefits. I LOVE your analogy of the scar.. I think I’ll have to use that one!! =)

  6. Megan, I have a new neighbor/friend who just so happens to be a life coach!!!! She will insha’Allah gice her a complimentary session. Maybe you can colarborate with her cuz my friend needs some serious help refocusing and setting goals.

  7. New Homeless Muslim Women’s Shelter

    Perhaps there is something to be contributed her along the lines of Life Coaching. Also, have you thought about offering to do a regular Life Coaching column for Azizza/Sisters Magazine or some Islamic publication?

    Keep up the great work!

  8. Thanks for the link. I would be more than happy to contribute to any publication. Insha’Allah in the future 🙂

  9. Megan, I think your blog is SO helpful, especially on this subject. I was told many years ago that HATE HATES YOU and it is so true. Great comments from other contributers, too.

  10. This really is the second blog post, of urs I really went through.
    Yet I like this specific one, “Why we hold onto anger and resentment.
    Megan Wyatt’s Coaching Blog” the most. Thanks -Mckinley

  11. I too have struggled with resentment for a long period of time, 30 years to be exact. I was 18 a virgin wanted to wait until I was married and unfortunately was date raped. It has taken me this long to see that I had a role. I put myself in a bad situation, issolated and no one to yell to or help me. I blamed him for all of the bad things that happened after the rape. The distrust and inability to have a healthy relationship, my self loathing for being stupid, the insecurity and much more that comes along with rape. My first step was to realize my role. the second step was to admit that the biggest anger that I had was towards myself for the anger that I carried and came out of the deep hurt that I carried for so long.

    Am I healed? no, but I am much further along that I was before these realizations. My mind is not consumed with when is he going to get his, life is not fair, anger and yes hate. I dreamed of the best way for him to die. I know look at him and say what a sad person, all the anger that he had towards women. I found out later that I was not his only victim and his most recent victim is his wife. The relationship is totally abusive. She leaves him, he begs her back, they get back together for a while, he abuses her and the cycle of abuse goes on. I have heard that she has gone back to college and is now a teacher. She actually filed for divorce. How sad is it that a man has someone who loves him but he can not control his abuse. This women is finally finding her inner strength to leave and will I sure, just as I start working on the resentment of all the abuse and broken dreams. I pray for this man and one other who also raped me three years ago. I pray that God has mercy on them and that they can become better people and have good lifes. Wouldn’t that make the world that we live in a much better place. I have been granted mercy, grace, and forgiveness for my wrongs why should I not forgive them. It does make me feel better. Do the hurts creep back in….yes but more of the forgiveness creeps back in than before and I feel better about myself. I am finally starting to make some changes that will lead to finding my self and my true happiness. It is time for me to stop hurting me.

    Patti Atkinson

  12. This is absolutely not the only reason people hang on, although it’s definitely one of them.

  13. […] Why We Hold Onto Anger and Resentment by Megan Wyatt […]

  14. Thank you so much for writing this. I identified that this was the reason why i personally held on to anger and resentment, but i am still not willing to let it go. hopefully i will reach that moment soon.

  15. Forgiveness is Fundamental Christian concept . . . and pinnacle importantance…
    Allah is Satan worshipped through time thus hasn’t guarded grace… Proof antiquity from Babel to Egypt Assyria Greco Roman Ottoman islam . . . wolf in sheep’s clothing … Read miriam and apply logic even fatima… Jesua is Son of Living God
    Allah is perdition

  16. Thanks for this post. Really will help me sleep tonight.

  17. Getting closer to Allah? Whoa.

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