More About Resentments

by Chuck S.

ball and chain attached to legs

There are two types of resentments. One type is towards a person for their actions. Confronting the person resented is the key to resolving that emotion. I wrote about it in this article.

Another type of resentment is one of envy and desire. It’s what the bible calls coveting, and it is one of the 10 commandments (interestingly enough, this one that is a thought crime). However, like the other way of using resentment, against another person, for one’s benefit, the envy, desire, and coveting type of resentment can also be beneficial to people.

Envy, desire, and coveting come from one’s desire to have something. In this case, what is desired is possessed by someone else. It is easy to turn frustration on the owner of the possession, and that’s where the lessons of religion focus: more of a jealousy type of feeling rather than desiring something. Nonetheless, there is a better way to deal with this than repressing your envy and desire, or by having disdain for one who possess what you want.

If you separate what is desired from who possess it, you can see it in a different light. It becomes something extremely useful. It is something on its own. A prize for the taking. Now, you have something to aim at. It’s something that you want or something you think you need. You might not get the very thing you originally saw, but obtaining another identical copy of it should suffice.

With that, you can develop a plan to obtain that trait or possession for yourself. If it is a trait, fashioning yourself to act in the manner can be routinely practiced and honed to be a part of your skill set. If it is a possession, you can find ways to amass the means to trade for it or purchase it. These are not snaps of fingers for the amount of time and effort, but instead of stewing in your juices about why you don’t have it, you can make a purposeful effort to obtain it.

One significant benefit that will occur along the way is that the period of time it takes to execute your plan for obtaining whatever takes time. As you move along this path, the benefit of time allows you the opportunity to consider an important question: is what you seek worth the effort?

There are many things we think are good, but come with a great cost.

An example of this is power. People see others with power and think it would be rewarding to have it. What they don’t understand is the stress that comes with it. Power gives one authority, but with that comes responsibility and accountability. The king has the responsibility for the well being of his kingdom. A president has the responsibility of his nation. Parents have responsibility for their children. While you might have thought it was unfair that your parents could provide the reason, “because I said so,” they had a significant responsibility with that power. Feeding, sheltering, clothing, teaching, bathing, and wiping your snotty little nose.

Other possessions may look enticing, but they come with their headaches too. Mansions require significant upkeep, exotic cars require specialized technicians and parts, and private jets come with headaches galore… to include dealing with their pilots.

Movie stars, rock stars, and other high visibility positions are rife with headaches. Cancel culture and witch hunts are thought of most when it comes to threats, but also consider the dedication required to practice and hone their performances. Life on the road sucks, even when you stay in the greatest of accommodations.

It’s worth taking the time to consider what your ideal future looks like. What you want to become, what you want to have, and how your life will move forward are important ideas to plan. To understand and identify how these things will contribute to the improvement of your wellness, satisfaction, and capability is important. That concept will need to be harmonious with how you actually navigate yourself looking through the changed lens of your new life. When they are clearly laid out, you can measure your actions against your ideals and make adjustments as necessary.

When we first enter the rooms, we are told to watch others. This is how we picked our sponsor: we looked for someone who had what we wanted. This came through admiring. What captures us spiritually are the greater things in this world that want to be a part of: it is desire. It is something we desire and envy.

The next time you see something that someone possesses and you would like to have, treat it as an opportunity to expand your world. Instead of being jealous of the person who has it, approach them and ask them how they made it happen. Ask them about what is good and what is bad about it, and if it is worth having. You may be surprised what they say.

When it is all said and done, instead of resenting them, you just may thank them for helping you discover you don’t want or need it after all. That means less stress to possess. For me, less stress means less cravings, and that is one of my highest valued conditions to maintain sobriety.

Resentments handled properly are an excellent way to make that happen.


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