By Alexandra Rose
Resentments have the ability to consume one’s life. They can lead to negative thoughts and even more negative actions. Whether or not we think they are justified, holding onto resentments can infiltrate our well-being. Fourth steps not only can help us banish resentments but also are able to let us see our part.
Usually when I’m holding onto a resentment I’m not only angry at that specific person but I am angry at myself. From this, I tend to take out my anger on that person which is completely incorrect. My sponsor tells me, “There is a spiritual price for non-spiritual action.” I’ve come to find out that this statement is so true. I let these resentments consume my mind until I react in such a way that I let them take over. Although knowing that a fourth step will help because I have done them before, the disease of alcoholism in me likes to stay in the sickness.
I hear all the time about people who are “stuck” on their fourth step. Usually they are in discomfort and continually play the victim, which leads to a pattern of not moving forward. A lot of times people relapse when they get to their fourth step. I remember when I first got sober I wanted to go right into the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous and get the fourth step done. Upon hearing about people relapsing on this step, it made me want to conquer it even more because I wanted to stay sober. After my fifth step I felt a great weight lifted off of my shoulders and realized that I had been holding onto resentments that were so unnecessary.
Of course there are going to be resentments that maybe are justified and some can think that they could never forgive for what had happened. Keeping these resentments provide them with power over our minds in which it will continually act as an insidious disease. Forgiveness is not just simply to forgive the people but it is a way to lead us to peace. It is the solution that allows us to live our lives without hatred or discomfort. Advice that my mother always gives me is to forgive because we’ll continue to be angry unless we do. She lives a life free of resentments because she takes her own advice.
Also, when I take a look at my part in the resentment I can take responsibility and learn more about myself. I love thinking that I’m always right and someone else is to blame but usually that is not the case. When I do see my part in it, usually due to someone else pointing my defects out, I can stop and come to the realization that I am also to blame. When this does happen, it pushes me to act in a better manner than previously before. My behavior can change into positive actions when I am fully aware of my selfless capability.
Going through life with anger attached to my conscious is not a way I want to live. I much rather be in tranquility from the result of forgiveness and positive spiritual conduct. It’s just not worth holding onto a resentment that can deter us away from living a sober life. I choose to live in the solution and the result is serenity.
“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 been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” (Big Book, 64)
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