I have a resentment. That is deadly for me.
I don’t get them often anymore; perhaps that’s due to reduced interaction with people since COVID entered our lives two years ago 😊. However, I’d like to think that my consistent spiritual practices have kept me in good stead.
I had volunteered to train Sally (name changed) for a task she was assigned to at her job. I don’t know her well, but she seemed enthusiastic and even grateful. We went ahead and set an appointment on a weekend day when I would be off from my own job. When the appointment day arrived, she never showed and never called me. I got concerned that perhaps she was ill, there was an emergency, or the like. I waited a couple days to see if she would contact me, and when she didn’t, I called her office. Someone else answered the phone and said Sally was there, couldn’t talk, and would call me back. When I didn’t hear back within a couple days, I called again; this time I left a voicemail. I never received a call back.
The following day I saw a copy of the completed work project that I was supposed to help Sally to accomplish—I was shocked! Good for her. Regardless of how she accomplished that feat, I still haven’t heard a word from her. I know my ego is having a field day with this. Character and ethics are hugely important to me, so my mind is also thinking about the lack of respect towards me, her not acting responsibly, good communication, and the like.
But with my ego on top of mind, I just want peace. Thank heaven I am no longer used to carrying resentments and I am used to peace and serenity.
So what to do about my resentment? I am grateful I am grounded in the Twelve Step philosophy, which guides me in interactions with people and situations. Here’s the solution provided in the main text of Alcoholics Anonymous, fondly known as the Big Book:
“If you have resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you don’t really want it for them and your prayers are only words and you don’t mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks, and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love.”
– “Alcoholics Anonymous,” Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., Fourth Edition, page 552
So that is what I am doing, praying for this person so that my soul is at peace. In the past, hanging onto a resentment, led me to hitting the food, binging. Of course, that was no solution at all; it never resolved my feelings towards the person and in fact added to my burden with feelings of guilt and remorse because I’d overeaten. Not to mention the physical repercussions.
These days, I have the Twelve Steps that provide a plan for living. I have other spiritual tools from other philosophies as well. But, first and foremost, I have a Power greater than myself that is ever-present and loving, and restores me to peace and sanity. I am so grateful beyond words.