The Examined Life
Key Four: “Through my absolute surrender and conscious connection to the One Power and Presence, I courageously, deeply and gently search within myself all thought patterns and behaviors that are out of alignment with love, integrity harmony and order.”
The pain, hate and resentment I felt for my mother was simply off the scale. The story I carried with me for most of my life was that she was the cause of all my pain and shame.
Then there was my daughter, who I resented for being born. I blamed her for my guilt because I couldn’t be a good mother, I blamed her because I was expected to be a mother before I was ready – I blamed her for forcing me to look at how screwed up I was.
On and on it went. I was mad at the world for it had not treated me fairly, everybody was wrong – except me. I thought for years that if I didn’t have the mother I had, I would’ve had a better life, yet my holding onto the anger didn’t get me a better life – releasing it did.
Bill Wilson states, “For alcoholics, resentment is the number one offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.”
What I know is this, resentment, which is the remembering, retelling and reliving of a painful event, long after the event has passed, doesn’t just destroy alcoholics or addicts, it blocks the flow of life in everyone. It is the cause of all suffering in every life.
Key Four as outlined in Soul Recovery, is where we set out on a course of extensive housecleaning. In turning our lives over to God, we are now willing to do things that we would not, and could not ordinarily do – like take a fearless moral (microscopically honest) inventory of all the beliefs, feelings, resentments and actions of the past and present. Our core state of mind hasn’t disappeared because we’ve turned our lives over to God.
Surrendering to God actually puts us in the spiritual position to go deeper than we’ve ever ventured before.
It is impossible to maintain a spiritual connection to God when one is filled with resentment, fear, selfishness and self-centeredness. I’ve come to believe that the reason for this is that the vibrational frequency of Spirit is operating at a higher, purer rate than the frequency of resentment and blame.
It’s not that the Universe has changed Its mind, or is no longer interested in us when we can’t connect to it. It simply cannot lower Its vibration to meet us in a frequency of blame and resentment. Spirit cannot and will not contradict its own nature, so we must raise our vibration to meet the fullness of Life by healing our core wounds, telling a stronger story and forgiving the mistakes of ourselves and others. Part of developing a relationship with a Higher Power, getting rid of resentment is crucial for spiritual growth.
Here are five keys to healing resentment:
1. Acknowledge the resentment and pain. It doesn’t serve you or anyone else to immediately try to forgive without first acknowledging that you feel injured. Remember that forgiveness is a process.
2. Find a healthy way to express your anger and disappointment. Allow your inner kid to have its tantrum. Cry and totally feel your feelings.
3. Connect with someone who can be objective about the situation, yet who can hold you in a vibration of compassion and love. This person should also be in a position to support you in getting on the other side of the pain.
4. Now it’s time to get microscopically honest about the part you played in the situation. Where did you say yes when you meant no? Where did you not speak up when you had an opportunity to do so? Where did you just go along to get along?
5. Make amends for the part you played. Pray for yourself by reclaiming your emotional balance and freedom. Pray for the other person that they experience the same peace of mind that you desire for yourself (I know, you want to kill them – just do the exercise – it works). Clean up your side of the street by making amends for the part that you knowingly or unknowingly played. Forgive yourself.