In part 6 of this series the concept of resentments being the key to open the door to isolation and self-reproach will be explored. My resentments in effect held the key to the door of my isolation and my self-reproach.
In my experience, I found that I needed to determine who I held resentments towards and why I sought to maintain those resentments towards those individuals –family, places, churches, significant relationships, and institutions — so that I could come out of my isolation.
So that I could come out of isolation and be free of self-reproach.
In my desire to be free of my resentments I needed to make a list of the people that I resented. Next, I needed to ask myself a series of questions regarding the people that I resented. I needed to determine what I believed those individuals did to me, how my life as a result – i.e. my self-esteem, emotions, security, ambitions as well as my personal and sex relationships. Next, I needed to explore how the situation that led to my resentment make me feel? I then needed to determine how I responded to the event.
Next, I needed to examine what my part was that led to my resentment — how I contributed/participated in/to the situation that led to my resentment. Was I self-fish, dishonest, self-seeking, frightened, inconsiderate, etc? Lastly, I needed to examine what I did right – if anything — in the situation that led to my resentment.
In my experience, I needed to examine specific time periods in my life in order to be able to identify my resentments. Specifically, I needed to examine how I related to my family, friends, educational venues, churches, employers and other significant relationships. Because I wanted to be free of the negative energy that my resentments created, I did an inventory of my resentments during specific times in my life. I examined as far back as I could remember until I was 6 years of age, then from ages 6-12, 12-18, 18-24, 24-30, 30- 36, 36-42 and so on.
Through my proactive participation in the above exercise, I was able to identify specific patterns of behavior that I used to relate both to other people and to myself during those time periods. As I identified patterns in my behavior I was able to address what was my part, what was not my part and how I could be freed from the negative consequences of my resentments. As a byproduct, I was able to begin to recognize where other people ended and where I began. Consequently, I was able to begin to establish healthier relationships with both other people and with myself.
Through practicing rigorous honesty in my own recovery process, I was able to slowly stop participating in a dance that told me that I needed for another person to be OK with me before I could hope to be OK with me.
Please read the conclusion of this series in Part 7 by clicking on Part 7. Thank you.
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