Category Archives: Resentment

2012: The Year of Forgiveness

I’ve been naming my years for a while now. 2009 was The Year of Hesed (lovingkindness).2010 was The Year of the Tao. 2011 was The Year of Living Simply, and for 2012, I’ve chosen The Year of Forgiveness.

I’ve heard that to forgive someone means to merely allow them their path. Very simple, and my experience says that what is simple is best.

Many years ago, I hurt a lot of people who got caught up in my tsunami of self-destruction. I am soul-sorry about that, and everyone that I’m aware of has forgiven me for my actions during those dark times, for which I will be eternally grateful. I needed those times; they were a part of my path to today. Surely I can allow someone else their path.

I find that it’s easier to forgive someone the big transgressions, but what about the guy who cuts me off in traffic? I am usually outwardly calm, but in my head, I’m screaming: “You idiot!” I really don’t want to do that any more, so I’m going to stop it in 2012. I’m going to let the little things flow over me, making “allow them their path” my mantra for the year.

And I’m going to forgive myself, too, on a daily basis, for being imperfect and doing all the stupid things I do. I say the wrong thing all the time, I eat the wrong things, I still am tempted to slide into old behavior patterns. I no longer burn with resentment, but I can chew on a good one for a while before letting it go. I don’t want to do that any more, either, and so I won’t in 2012. Forgiveness is sustainable; resentment is not.

Living consciously is a decision. Each of us is faced with a million tiny decisions every day as to how to react to a million tiny situations. So in 2012, I will react with love in my heart and the perspective that while we all might be on different paths, the goal is the same.

I have a good feeling about what 2012 has to bring.

Happy New Year!

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Filed under Discipline, Learning, peace, Possibilities, relationships, Resentment, Social Consciousness, Spirituality, Sustainability, years

Anger and Fear

After reflecting for a while on yesterday’s post, I began to have compassion for the angry protesters who are acting out in such an aggressive and sad way.

They’re afraid.

I learned long ago that anger is fear. And there are only two things to be afraid of: Losing something you have, or not getting something you want.

Angry words all say the same thing. Angry words all say: “But what about me?” (Remember this the next time you fight with your spouse.)

We’re all a little afraid. None of us knows what the future holds. None of us likes change. But I can tell you that those of us who were born white, middle class, intelligent and healthy are pretty damned lucky. And luck is all that it is.

It was an accident of birth that I was born to good genes and limitless opportunity. Capitalizing on those gifts (that’s why they call them gifts!) is my duty, and using the fruits of my labor to help those who whose roll of the genetic dice was not so great is what I’m supposed to be doing. Not hoarding. Helping.

I think if we were a little more focused on the less fortunate instead of our own bank accounts, we might be a little less angry, a little less afraid, and a little more excited about the fact that someone sick is going to finally get the peace of mind that having health insurance offers.

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Filed under peace, relationships, Resentment, Social Consciousness, Spirituality

What do you mean, “Forgive and Forget”?

My friend, not long ago, was whining about some slight that she was still churning over, when I tossed off the oft-used, but ill-considered phrase: “Oh, forgive and forget.” She stopped in her tracks, looked me squarely in the eyes and said, “I will never forget, and I have no idea what forgiveness means.”

Hmmmm.  I had to think about that. This happened several years ago, and I’m still thinking about it. Of course we don’t forget. And what is forgiveness, anyway? I have an idea these days about what mercy is, but forgiveness has eluded me.

Well, the other day I happened upon an interesting article on forgiveness, and the author said that forgiveness was simply allowing another person their path.

That was kind of a stunner to me, and I’m not sure I’ve finished assimilating that simple bit of wisdom.

We all have our paths. Some wind around in a convoluted manner, some take us through very dark places, some have us living the glamorous high life and some appear to be cut short before they’ve really begun. It is my personal opinion, belief and faith, that we all have the same destination, eventually, but it’s going to take us all a long time to get there, not just the 80 or so years we have in this life on this planet. But my path to that destination is my path and your path is your path, and if you do something that offends me, well, that’s your path, to be mildly offensive now and then. I certainly spent enough time being offensive to people before I decided not to do that any more. That’s a part of my journey.

I’m not finished considering all the ramifications of this simple raindrop of wisdom. A theological question I’ve wrestled with for years now, was answered in a simple four-word sentence: “Allow them their path.”

Could it really be that simple? Are all the things we wrestle with that simple?

Probably. We’re the ones who make our lives difficult.

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Filed under Beauty, Goodness, regrets, relationships, Resentment, Social Consciousness, Spirituality, Truth

Have We No Shame?

I haven’t been feeling well lately, so haven’t posted, because I was uncertain as to whether my impatience with Jon and Kate and the whole Letterman affair was due to my feeling low, or if I was really fed up.

Well, the verdict is in. I’m fed up.

Jon and Kate: You should be ashamed of yourselves.

You’ve had your fifteen minutes of fame,  you’ve entertained some folks, your children are adorable, and worth way more than you’re giving them.

Kate: go home. Tend your children. You have EIGHT of them, for cryin’ out loud. What are you doing making the talk show circuit when you should be home being a mom to your kids?

Jon: Go home. Get a job. Forget the television series and all the unearned bucks it throws into your pockets, and act like a father and a provider and a gentleman. We’re sick to bloody death of your spotlight addiction and airing the minutia of your dirty laundry every time I log on or turn on the television. Enough, already.

Mr. Letterman: You broke my heart. I have been such a die-hard fan of yours since the very beginning, and I have cheered for you and celebrated with you and worried over you. And now I find out that you’re just another one of “those guys” who cheats on his woman with sleazy office romances. This is so far beneath you I cannot even express my disappointment.

You’re a victim on top of a victim, and I think that is a shame, but you brought it all on yourself. I hope you can hold your family together for the sake of your young son. At least you’re not rubbing our noses in this distasteful turn of events every time I turn the television on.

No, someone else is doing that. And we watch it.

If we demanded that the talking heads shut up about all of this, perhaps they’d find something else to talk about. Something educational. Something worthwhile, something that would enrich the lives of those of us who watch their programs. Even something entertaining, instead of endlessly slogging through tiny details, twisting and turning them, trying to find a fresh angle.

They do it because we watch it.

Not me. Not any more.

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Filed under disappointment, family, Marriage, Promotion, relationships, Resentment, Social Consciousness

Getting Hung Up on an Attitude

I’m stuck.

I have a small, smoldering resentment and it has sucked all the fun out of my life.  The thing that is so infuriating is that this situation is insignificant. Tiny. Teenie, even. And I’ve given it the power to interfere with my  joy. Last night, it even interfered with my sleep.

So it’s time to take action. I know precisely what I need to do to put paid to this situation, but I have to say, it’s taken me a couple of weeks to realize what I need to do. This situation needed to simmer. I needed to get past all the angry words that were backed up in my throat and my head. I needed to realize why my little girl inside was saying, “But what about me?” which is what all angry words really say.

So I’ve taken responsibility for my part in this teensie little thing that has disrupted my serenity, and today I take steps to rectify the situation. It will take a couple of days, actually, but I can see my way through it, and I won’t be acting in haste, or in anger, or from an indefensible position of mock outrage.

Wow. How adult of me. It’s those twelve steps, you know, that work in my life when I’m too out of control to work them.

I may not have control over much in this life, but I do have control over my attitude. And right now, my attitude sucks.

So I’m going to fix it.

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Filed under Personalities, Possibilities, Prayer, relationships, Resentment, Spirituality, Truth, Twelve Steps

Anger and Resentment

I’m learning a lot about anger and resentment at Serenity Lane.

Holding a resentment, I heard, is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. So true. Resentment and anger is spirit poison, and the person toward whom we hold the resentment can be going on about their life, blissfully ignorant of the evil intentions we brew in our hearts. Who does that hurt?

I learned long ago that all resentment and anger stems from one thing: fear.

And fear can only be one of two things: fear of losing something we have or fear of not getting something we want.

I don’t have any control over either of those things. What I get to keep and what I get to lose isn’t really up to me. I only have control over my attitude about it all.

So the old way of dealing with resentment and anger was either to engage and escalate, or to walk away and seethe. But now I know there is a third way. One can take a pause, discover how we’re threatened, and realize that it’s nothing to be afraid of.

Could this really be the key to world peace? First, we’re peaceful within our selves, then our families, then our communities, then our country, then our world?

It all begins with me. Today.

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Filed under Evil, Learning, peace, Resentment, Social Consciousness, Spirituality

It’s always personal

There has been a little dust-up in a group I’m involved in, and in the middle of the night last night it occurred to me that I’m the cause of it all.

I don’t know if that’s true or not. I’m too close to the situation at the moment to see it clearly, but it is certainly a possibility. And so what should I do?

First, I am always the first one to take the blame when things go wrong, even if they have nothing to do with me. I think this is something that most writers have in common; we’re egoists with inferiority complexes.

The person who voiced hurt and anger over the situation may or may not be angry with me, but I’m soul-certain that I did no harm. So in truth, she’s responsible for her own anger. That is not something for me to tinker with.

My spiritual program tells me that what other people think of me is none of my business anyway. I am right with myself and right with my God and therefore I’m okay.

So what actions do I take?

Of course my initial reaction is to opt out of all subsequent discussion on the topic. But how does that serve the whole? Or her? Or me? It doesn’t. It perpetuates the ugliness. And yet, are we (am I) to walk on eggshells? No. That does not serve, either.

I think the best course of action is for me to take a back seat on this particular situation and let it play out. I’ll participate, but less so. I hope that the whole group isn’t intimidated into silence. But if it is… so be it.

Still… I can’t help but take it a little bit personally. It’s always personal, after all. Isn’t it?

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Filed under disappointment, Personalities, politics, relationships, Resentment