Step Four, Resentments, and Life-long Patterns
Harboring resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people…but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us. -Steve Maraboli
I have officially taken pen to paper and begun my official fourth step, which is making a searching a fearless moral inventory of myself. My instructions for this week are to complete the worksheets on my resentments. How it works: first, write down everyone in my life toward which I have or have had a resentment (overwhelmed yet?). Next, describe the resentment, and check off the listed categories in which the resentment affected me, and finally (and most importantly) describe the role I played in the resentment.
Yes, to answer your unspoken question, my mind is spinning, right about now.
This is only one part of the inventory; there are several more pages, each as in-depth as what I just described. So I am nowhere near the completion of this step, and yet I feel like I have already climbed a mountain.
This work is particularly difficult for me because I have always been of the strong belief that what has happened in my childhood, or even things in the more recent past, don’t matter much today, simply because I am an adult, and thus liable for my own actions. Truly, no matter how upset, or angry, I feel towards what I perceive as wrongdoing against me, at the end of the day I am responsible for my own actions. I have encountered people who have a vastly different viewpoint from this one, one in which they feel they are a victim of life’s injustices, and I tend to view that belief with contempt.
I still feel that I am responsible for my own actions, but even this early on, I am aware of a critical misstep… by never honestly looking back at the difficulties (for lack of a better word) in my life, I have not been able to see clear patterns in my behavior. Here is one example: in the category “the role I played,” I have written about 30 different times “failed to voice my concern,” or something to that effect. Now, if I have already had to write that 30 times, do you think that might be something I have to look at? I’m guessing yes, and I’m guessing my inability to develop the courage to speak my mind has played a crucial role in my development as a person.
There is so much more insight to be gained from this inventory, and I am not just looking back, but forward as well, because I have children of my own, and in reviewing my childhood I can’t help but wonder how I am affecting them. I would say that this exercise, while time-consuming, difficult, and painful, is a worthwhile one for just about anybody. I’ll let you know more as I delve deeper.
Posted on September 19, 2012, in Recovery and tagged AA, ABC News, Addiction, God, Higher Power, Luke Ford, Philosophy, Recovery, Resentment, Support group, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.