The Topic is Resentment, and Boy Does That Tick Me Off
I don’t think I’ve done a Monday meeting wrap-up in a while. We have been holding steady… today we had 9 attendees, and several are newer “regulars.” One gentleman had been with us a while back, and is now resuming his attendance. People who come back to meetings after having been absent always provide excellent insight, at least to my way of thinking, so I got a lot out of today’s experience.
Today I selected a reading called “Watching Out for Anger and Resentments,” from the book Living Sober. I had a specific reason for picking this chapter. Over the past week, I have had 5 very different, very disturbing dreams that, one way or another, referenced my time in active addiction. What’s most troubling to me about these dreams, other than that they are recurring, is that I have no conscious disturbance in my life. Each morning that I woke up from one I spent time reflecting on what can be causing the subconscious turmoil, and I have yet to pinpoint a reason. Life is still really, miraculously good… so what is the problem?
In AA, we are taught that resentments are “the number one offender,” so I picked that chapter from the book, and we had a meaningful discussion after the reading. Here is what I uncovered for myself at the conclusion of the meeting:
- As always, I have more resentments than I realize. After reading all the different ways resentment can manifest itself (hostility, contempt, rigidity, cynicism, to name but a few), I have more going on than I realize. What’s been missing from my personal equation is taking the time to figure out all that is going on in my head, talking about it, praying on it, and listening for His answer.
- Bringing a resentment to a final conclusion. It is not enough to just figure out, “oh yeah, I have a resentment about that.” I have been doing that with certain things in my life for months on end now. Once I figured out that I have a resentment, I need to Let. It. Go! And that is the one I thing I have refused to do on a number of issues. I guess there is some progress in acknowledging the resentment, for most of my adult life I did not have the skill set to do even that. But now I need to take the next logical step, and remove the resentment from my life.
- A woman in my meeting was telling me how much her marriage has improved. She said to her husband, “What made you change?” He replied, “I didn’t change, you did.” So we talked about how his behavior had really stayed constant, but her acceptance had increased, and thus the entire relationship improved. Kudos for her! Unfortunately, the same thing can happen in reverse, and I’m afraid I am guilty of it. One small example: my son has been severely testing my patience for close to two weeks now. It seems as if there is an argument of some kind at least once a day. In reading the chapter today, and digesting the sharing afterwards, I realized that his behavior has been consistent, it is my attitude that has changed. So until I can get my head on straight, he is going to drive me crazy.
- Finally, and this is an off-shoot of point #2, I need to take the time to figure out how to resolve the resentments in my life. There were several alternatives discussed in today’s reading, but the one that resonated most with me was: ask yourself how a reasonable, well-balanced person would solve this problem, then act as if you are that reasonable, well-balanced person. This made me laugh out loud, because I can’t tell you how many times I have said exactly that to myself… “how would a normal person handle this?” Where I fall short is the acting as if part, and I realize, yet again, it is not enough to think my way into right acting, I need to act my way into right thinking!
It is a picture-perfect fall day here on the East Coast, and I am grateful for the beautiful season we are having!
Posted on October 14, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged 12 step program, Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Anger, Common (entertainer), confrontation, Forgiveness, God, Living Sober, Reading, Recovery, Resentment, self-development, Sobriety, Thought. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.