Overcoming Resentment

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Resentment is the pain that results from believing that something should be different than it is. It is an unconscious defense mechanism that protects our conscious mind against fear. Insomuch as it works it saves us from the hard work of having to change our beliefs to match reality, especially when to make that change before we are adquately prepared to integrate it, would work against the development of our higher self. That is to say, resentment as a tool to cope with persons/institutions you think suck, works really well until it doesn’t. Most of us medicate ourselves to further avoid the consequences of resentment and fear. Medicating takes innumerable forms, from the obvious to the subtle. The obvious forms are easily recognizable -smoking, drinking, drugging, bingeing on sex, sugar, interwebs, news, porn. The more subtle compensations are more challenging to identify because they also operate unconsciously – excessive exercise, co-dependencies, playing the victim, workaholism, bullying, self-abuse.

Overcoming resentment is an inside job. There is nothing you can change externally that will solve your shit. If you change scenery the same resentment (fear) will just constellate around the next relationship or job whatever the case may be until you learn to overcome it. You attract the forces that you need to learn from – the entire universe does this – it’s a wonder it takes people so long to discover this fundamental principle. BUT, awareness is just the first step. NEXT, comes practice. Belief or faith is the last gift in the process. I’ll share a revelation I had running just this last week.

I get a lot from running. I gain access to my higher self – a type of euphoric communion takes place. In that window of revelation this past week the thought hit me that I haven’t been attracting a very familiar resentment – one that I’ve had my entire fucking life. I have consistently attracted authority figures in my life that I resented and rebelled against. I’m assuming it began with my father, but it’s only been over the last seven years or so that I’ve become AWARE of it, as a pattern. I can point to each individual who I resented and how they embodied the very forces I was being called to look at and overcome.

So much of overcoming resentment takes place in what are called inventories. In most people, when it happens, these inventories take place in semi-meditative states of reflection – on the toilet, when people lay their heads down to rest, in a trance after lunch, driving home. For those people whose awareness has grown these inventories grow – they develop, more often than not, into writing practices. Almost everyone I respect on the matter practices written inventories on resentment and fear – CONSTANTLY.

Overcoming resentment is less like fighting and much more like surrendering. I’ll never forget the last boss I had that I really had a bad resentment toward. I was aware enough to know that I was learning, that in fact the very judgment that I cast upon her was being returned to me in kind. I resented the resentment, the trap, the impassibility of it all. The solution was to surrender, again. “God?! Again!?? WTF!!” “Yes, again. SURRENDER.” I had this intuition that Spirit kept reminding me the entire time – about a semester’s time – that I was going to overcome this dynamic that produced this toxic resentment. I felt my resentments finality – the finality of the specific internal configuration producing or attracting the circumstances of disempowerment that so easily gave way to resentment.

Now two years later, that old, old life-long resentment is gone. It was a process of overcoming that took time, but I found that my resentment has left me in direct proportion to the growth of my empowerment. First, I became aware of the resentment (fear-pattern). Second, I went to practicing surrender. Surrender looked like inventory processes over and over when the resentment would crop up. I was using the phone a great deal. I would check in my inventories within a trusted network of understanding, closed mouthed allies. The development of faith – belief in myself – is the positive consequence that resulted from all this work. As I’ve changed internally, then and only then, have my external conditions shifted so that I’ve literally been placed in a protected position against such negative forces. Like MAGIC!!

I was on the treadmill when I came to my realization that my resentment was gone. I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle to myself – almost in amazement. I guess at some point without knowing it I had resigned to always attracting that resentment, always suffering from that sick pattern. I didn’t realize that my faith in overcoming that resentment had started when I became aware of it and that each time I surrendered it and practiced written inventories and intimate disclosure I was growing the faith it took to overcome it.

Don’t delay overcoming resentment – shit will kill you! If you’re looking for solutions to old patterns of resentment and fear, then you’ve come to the right place. My entire life’s mission is about helping you heal and transform. Reach out to me and let’s work together. Click Here!

 

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Humility and the Carrot

Once I was a carrot. Seriously. I’ll never forget when I was employed as a carrot mascot for a company named, Full Circle. It was a farm to door vegetable delivery service expanding into the San Francisco Bay Area. I had a full black onesie. There was something unforgettable about wiggling into the bottom of my carrot suit, like entering into my own private suit where I was protected from the outside world. I became a carrot. I would yell at kids from my private, protected, carrot suit world, “EAT YOUR CARROTS!! I was the best dancing carrot you’ve ever seen! I would also have frequent thoughts of existential prayerful angst: “Lord. I’m becoming a carrot! What happened!?”

One of my roommates had offered me the part time gig, and honestly I had nothing else coming down the pipe-line. At that time in my life I had run out of ideas. All of my best ideas about how to live life had imploded on me. My best ideas weren’t bad ideas in-and-of themselves. Actually, they were quite inspired. The previous year I had been working on a Ph.D., living in a beautiful flat, with caring roommates who had been my long time friends from college. I sang in a choir. And yet, that year, I found myself at a bottom, a place of incomprehensible demoralization. I had lost myself and the dreams that I held so dear. How did I end up a carrot?

The down had its pitfalls, landslides, and mishaps. Becoming a carrot was not an overnight matter, but a series of poor decisions which when put together over and over led to suffering and a life without faith or hope. Coping with hopelessness requires really strong drugs – addiction set in and a period of homelessness quickly followed.

So you might be surprised when I say that becoming a carrot was one of the best experiences of my life. By the time I slid into that black onesie I had found an ever so fragile foothold in recovery. The carrot job was the first job I had been offered in over a year, and it was an experience of radical humility. God was putting me in my place! I had been unemployed and unemployable for years. I thought I was the most insightful, most handsome, capable human being around. I was so gifted that I needed a lot of drug relief to cope with the suffering those gifts inflicted. Actually, I used drugs in direct proportion to the suffering brought on by my over-inflated ego – EGO: “Edging, God, Out.” I didn’t understand it at the time but selfishness and self-centeredness were at the root of my problems, and I was driven by fear.

I’ll never forget being in prayer inside that carrot suit. Those were some of my most fervent prayers to God. I’ll never forget the experience of God laughing at me and at the experience that I was having – the most loving, hilarious laugh you can imagine, followed by the clear voice of God, “Yeah, its humbling isn’t it.” It was humbling; it always is when we’re, “put in our place.”

Humility as a character attribute is often misrepresented. It doesn’t fair well within a world that celebrates power, success, strength, and victory, “If you’ ain’t first, you’r LAST!” shouts Ricky Bobby in the film Talladega Nights. Humility isn’t against winning or being strong, in fact, it’s foundation of empowerment. As a spiritual principle humility is a requirement of power. Humility is all about being right sized in a world obsessed with taking more than it deserves. All I deserved, could do, was be the best carrot that I could. I was right sized in that carrot suit – the suit fit!! I was the best carrot, man. I had a blast doing it because I knew that God was with me, that God had directed me and was going to continue to lead me into something better. Still, I had to get a dose of humility.

Humility comes from a Latin root word, “humus,” meaning “earth” or “ground.” In agriculture, humus refers to maturely composed soil rich with organic matter and stability. Humus is rich because it has undergone a process of transformation where microorganisms thrive and produce organic carbon. It is often called the “life-force” of soil. (Thanks wiki) There is no transformation, no resurrection – plant, human, or otherwise without “humility.” I was transforming in that carrot suit. Each time I surrendered my will to do God’s will I was being made more ready, more mature so that new things could be born in me.

And, let us not forget the heart of the matter, Christ came to the world, humble. St. Paul‘s Letter to the Philippians 2:1-8 captures the enduring meaning: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

I did have fun in that carrot suit, but there were so many moments of anger too. I was angry at God, at myself, and my circumstance. I would argue and plea with God, “How could I have gone from working on a Ph.D. with some of the brightest, most inspired people on the planet, with so much opportunity, to selling my time for money in a carrot suit!?” I would try to justify getting out of my duty, my job, and in those moments God would remind me of the truth about my circumstance – that I had agreed to go to any length for recovery. God was always gently reminding me that staying in that carrot suit was somehow keeping me sober. My carrot suit was a literal and symbolic act of surrendering my life and will over to the care of God. I was always welcome to take back the rains and try to live life on my terms instead of God’s terms, but I had already proven that path to be false over and over. In my own small way God was taking me through the very same process Christ experienced – obedience – Am I willing to let go of my will for one more moment? Letting go, moment after moment as Christ first taught – even to the point of death. That’s the practice… Humility is a practice.