Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The insanity of resentment

"Resentment is the 'number one' offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically." (64:3)
"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harbouring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die," ('Alcoholics Anonymous', 66:1).
"... a God personal to me, who was love, superhuman strength and direction," (10:4).
"Had this power originated in him? Obviously it had not," (11:4).
"We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He can be found. It was so with us," (55:3).
"He stood in the Presence of Infinite Power and Love." (56:4)
"Patience, tolerance, understanding and love are the watchwords. Show him these things in yourself and they will be reflected back to you from him." (118:2)
When I am resentful—disturbed in any way because my perception of reality does not match the ideal I have deemed necessary for me to be happy and satisfied—I am always (falsely) perceiving a disruption in the flow of love towards me.
Sometimes this is obvious—I am snubbed, disregarded, criticised, rejected, etc. Sometimes this is less obvious—I am thwarted at work and an ambition is scotched . . . ultimately, the goal of career success, for example, is the approval, recognition, and, well, love of others. I may have mistaken the means for the end or have a distorted perception of what love would look like, but love it is that I am after.
When other people are blocking love towards me, it is because they are cut off from God, the source of all their power, and they are relying on the substitute, ego, to supply them with what they think will make them happy and satisfied. The ego is profoundly confused. It believes that its wholeness depends on getting not giving—an insanity which is never overturned by confrontation with reality—and will act accordingly: it becomes a tornado (cf. 82:3), sucking anything that comes near it into its path, wholly disregarding the welfare of others in its greed. When ego has completed one of its jags, the tornado disappears, as if into thin air, and all that is left is devastation.
The tornado is not out to get me, personally. I am just in its way.
If, in response, I resent, I will block the flow of love from me to them. In doing so, the flow of love from God to me is blocked in equal measure, as flow requires outlet and inlet. So, cut off from the source of my power, I start relying on the substitute, ego, and I, myself, become a tornado.
Tornados cannot be fought with tornados.
Retaliation does not protect.
Resentment doubles the problem and turns me into precisely what I am resenting in others—the loveless tornado.
Resentment, therefore, is totally insane, even before we get on to the matter of the unhappiness it itself causes and the risk of drinking it entails.
God is infinite love, and my responsibility is to keep the channel within me open to that source of infinite love. If that channel is totally open, I will never lack. Resentment is the number one offender because resentment—in any form—blocks that channel. That is why from resentment flow all forms of spiritual disease.
The mind can be confused. It rightly perceives the blockage in the flow of love, but, having upside-down thinking, believes the problem lies in the flow of love in others towards me. What is really happening is this: it is projecting that blockage outwards onto others to explain the lack of love felt.
The truth is this: I feel lack of love from others only because I am not showing them love. The only love I have ever felt from others is the reflection back to me of the love I have shown them. The proof is this: how often have I been shown love by other people but been totally unable to feel it because there is no love extending outwards from me, because I am merely a vortex sucking in light but returning none?
God is love, God is everything, God is infinite, love is infinitely available. Infinity minus one is still infinity. A blockage in the flow does not reduce the quantity of love in the universe or the quantity available, personally, to me. All it represents is the illusion of separation from that love, existence in a non-existent limbo outside the infinity of God. Your self-imposed limbo does not have to be mine unless I choose to join you by resenting.
My choice when faced with resentment—of any kind—is this: do I want to continue in my idiotic belief that my resentment is somehow protecting me, or do I want release? If I want release, I must call upon God, now, to enable me to forgive and accept others and myself, 100%, no exceptions, no delays, no 'buts'.
"God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn't. What was our choice to be?" (53:2)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...