"Resentment is the Number One offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have also been spiritually ill. When our spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.
In dealing with our resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions, or principles with whom we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships (including sex) were hurt or threatened."
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pages 64,65
I never knew much about the theory of resentments before I got into AA. I never knew I was full of resentments until I worked the steps with my sponsor. Like many people in recovery, I found out that I resented my own behavior more than anything that anyone had done to me. I had treated others as if they didn't matter. And I had done this most of my life, countless times.
As part of my living amends toward other human beings, I have to try my best to put others before my own selfish demands.
I have a long way to go. Awareness of this is the beginning. Small steps, baby steps. Saying hello to others at an AA meeting. No matter how uncomfortable it may be. Allowing another car to pull in front of me in traffic. Calling another alcoholic who is having trouble. No matter how uncomfortable it may be. Giving others the opportunity to be right, without challenging them. No matter how uncomfortable it may be. The examples are infinite. They pop up every hour of every day. By practicing this new behavior, it slowly becomes a habit. Sometimes, I forget; I slip. When I do, the steps of AA give me the tools to make corrections.
This will last for my lifetime. As long as I don't drink alcohol.
Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.