Thursday, April 15, 2010


A friend called recently to let me know that she was disappointed in the way I had handled something. Suffice it to say that didn't sit well with me, and the call went downhill from there. After we hung up, I spent the rest of the afternoon seething. After all, how dare she question the way I handle my affairs. It's none of her business! Who does she think she is?! I had all the righteous answers and excuses as to why she deserved my anger and how I had been wronged.

I realized that I've been carrying a great deal of resentment with me. I sometimes hold on to it like it's more precious than air. I hoard it like it's a chest of fine jewels. In my mind, I see me grasping on to my resentment with vulture-like claws. I protect it with my life. Don't you dare even THINK about touching my resentment!

My sponsor asked me why; what did I get for it. The answer is that I hang on to resentment in order to feel protected. If I hang on to my resentment, that will stop me from being played for a fool the next time. I won't keep opening myself up to others to get hurt. I could tell, even as I said it, that it was a ridiculous line of reasoning.

At a meeting later that evening, I was reminded of how little I can afford to hang on to resentment. How I can't handle it; how it just destroys any vestige of inner peace I might have. But how to let it go? Aye, there's the rub.

The first thing I did that helped dissipate the resentment was to claim it by telling someone about it. As soon as I owned it, it began to leave me. "I'm resentful," I said. It felt good to name what was present. I did some service, which allowed me to stop focusing on my self, and I felt the resentment ease. I opened a book I find inspirational to a random page and there in the title of the article "Justifiable Anger?" PERFECT! Just what I need to read. I listened to the ideas of those around me, who weren't stuck in resentment and had a calmer perspective. I sat with myself and just let myself feel it...bringing myself back to awareness. And I wrote, which NEVER fails to help me get some perspective.

The gift of this event, is becoming aware of how easily I fall into resentment; how much of it I still carry with me. Instead of pushing it down with food or TV or reading or distraction, however; this time I named it and claimed it. I begin to see that the way through is truly the way out.

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