Sunday, April 15, 2007

Resentments

The topic at yesterday's women's meeting was resentments. I had just finished reading this month's Grapevine, where the topic was the same. There was one particular article in there that was great and provided me with a new tool to better resolve resentments.

The writer said that he was having problems with a person to the point that he literally couldn't stand to be around him and they, as I recall, were active in service together. Finally, he couldn't stand it any longer. He wrote a lengthy resentment list about this person, writing down every reason he could not tolerate him. Then, he erased the other person's name at the top of the list and wrote in his own name.

He said it took him a few days, but he quickly realized that every characteristic he hated about this other person he could say honestly was one of his own character defects. I thought that was very interesting, so I resolved to try this myself.

For months, I've been struggling with a lingering resentment with a woman in my home group who has, despite doing many kind things for me when I was ill, said some pretty terrible things about me, which of course have gotten back to me. I had decided, after working my 10th Step with her and getting nowhere, to just write off the relationship. But I decided to try this exercise and see if it worked.

Yesterday I was at my home group talking with my boyfriend and another man who were laying flooring at the hall where we meet. This woman's name came up, and I just had to get my two cents in about what she had done to me (as I perceived it). I left and almost immediately felt ashamed of myself. I was doing the very thing that I so bitterly resented about her: gossiping.

This morning I wrote a list of the things about her that irritated me and boy, every thing on that list I could truly say were my character defects, as well. Although I work hard to become a better human being, sometimes I slide down the slippery slope of judgment and self-righteousness. The answer for me lies in the Steps.

This little tool, writing the resentment list and comparing it to my own defects, allowed me to look at my part in our relationship. If I expect her to be kind about me, even if she doesn't necessarily like me, I need to be kind about her. As one article about resentments said, "I can put down the porcupine."

There also a simple rule: The exact energy I put out inevitably comes back to me with a wham.


I leave Friday for Arizona to pick up my furniture, so next week's blogs will be spotty (althought great photos may ensue; it's springtime in the most beautiful state in the union, IMHO). However, as I approach Two Dogs Blogging's 1st anniversary, I'm weighing whether I should continue Two Dogs or put the energy I put into this blog into other areas that might yield better results, both for me and for others. There seems to be so many places where I could help and this blog, although I've cut back a bit in writing, takes up a lot of time. So that, kids, is where I am today. That and battling the sinus infection which has crept back with a roar.

Until tomorrow, hang in there. Your love and shout outs over the past year has made my recovery so much stronger.

5 comments:

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

I shall give it a try soon. Resentment can play havoc to my life but I can't help it.

Can't wait to see the great springtime photo.

Keep on posting my friend.

Anonymous said...

...and so has your writing in this blog to me.

THANK YOU!

I will miss you if you go. Til then, I really enjoy your thoughts on recovery here.

Willa

SCoUt said...

I will try this one, 2 Dogs. To read it made my heart beat faster, so there must be something I need to look at, huh? Thanks for this important post.
I, for one, really hope you don't leave the blogging world. I look to you for E, S, and H, and you have given me so very, very much of that.
Safe travels. I love Arizona. My dad lived there for about 18 years before he died there. He adored it and so did/do I.
Peace,
Scout

Meg Moran said...

what a remarkable exercise..and I know without a doubt it will work for me. I think I have always intuitively known this when I have a resentment, but putting pen to paper will be so revealing.

If you were to stop blogging I may have to seek outside help for the issues that would arise from separation anxiety. Can you make a referal?

Syd said...

My sponsor told me the very same thing: the things that I criticize in another are those things that I own and are my character defects. I'm glad that I found your site. I am a dog lover myself and have several. They love unconditionally. That can't be said about many people. Thanks for sharing.