Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Getting rid of resentment

Five stages

(1) Get to the truth

Explain why you're so resentful to someone with considerable sobriety, a sense of humour, and their feet on the ground. Ask them to help you get to the truth of the situation in question. In particular follow two of the 'four agreements': take nothing personally and make no assumptions.

To what extent are you making assumptions, by speculating about what might have happened or be happening? For instance: do you know for sure 'they' are talking about you behind your back?

To what extent are you taking things personally that are nothing to do with you? For instance: how do you know the angry person is angry at you? Is it possible they're just angry generally, and it's not about you at all?

Consider generalisation, also:

Let's say you're angry because someone is selfish. What's the truth? Are they selfish 100% of the time, or are they selfish 3% of the time, but you're only looking at that 3%?

(2) Adjust your reality

Don't like the Wednesday meeting? Go to one on Thursday.
Don't like Jennifer, because she's rude and gossipy? Hang out with Susan.
Don't like the noisy neighbours? Buy earplugs.
Don't like being poor? Get a job.
Don't like your job? Get a new one.
Don't like being bored? Get a hobby.
Don't like yourself? Go and find someone else to help.
Don't like being single? Join a dating website.

A lot of resentments are invited by the decisions we make about how we spend our time and who we hang out with.

(3) Let go of egoic demands

If you're resentful because your image, reputation, and prestige are tarnished, because you're not getting enough respect, attention, validation, and approval, because you don't get enough sex, because you're short on money or power, you are on a hiding to nothing.

None of these things will make you consistently happy, and the price of such demands (fear, frustration, disappointment, and despair) is never worth paying, in the long run.

Trusting God and getting on with being useful, cheerful, and kind, whatever your circumstances, will make you far happier than filling your head with tinsel dreams and bauble ambitions and scowling grumpily at a world that never got the memo.

Don't believe it? Try it for a year, then decide.

(4) Forget comfort and thrills

Overrated. See above, re egoic demands.

(5) With the rest …

This is where you put on your big girl's panties: s**t ain't gonna stop happening just because you're in recovery and nominated for God's Little Ray of Sunshine 2014. Take your lumps as they come, and forgive everyone for everything (cf. page 67 of the Big Book), unless you particularly want to spend the rest of your life feeling guilty for everything you have done. Might as well forgive them—it's not as though their defects are going to go away any more briskly than yours.

Finally: ask God for courage; be grateful for what is good; stop fighting reality—it really is the easier, softer way.

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