Resentments and Acceptance

Today I am infected with an aptly named complaint. This is an ailment, of sorts, that is recurring, is self-made (why on earth would I want to lay myself low with a me-made indisposition?), and wholly debilitating. I suffer from myself. I suffer from a resentment.

My resentments used to be plentiful and knew no limits in severity or breadth. I would hold court in my head, using my resentments as the prosecutor, casting judgement on anyone or anything that would not live up to expectations I had created without warrant of any sort.There could be no defense, there could be no reason laid before my feet that engendered empathy on any level. Any case with credibility made would be met with indignation and  spun to create even more ill will.

Resentments have been the creation of my own misgivings and self-limitations. An inability to accept that others cannot or do not view the glass as being in the same state of fullness or emptiness or that there is even a glass has proven to be an irrational source of stress for me. For years I simply could not wrap my head around what I viewed as shortsightedness bordering on inexplicable idiocy. I would dwell for hours, days, weeks on a subject that, ultimately, held little consequence for me but about which I simply had to be right.

This unjustified negativity was a vehicle I used to move myself further from whole and closer to broken. The vehicle was the construct of all the self-doubts I harbored over years of regressive thinking and was fueled by substance abuse. The greater the resentments, the more I filled my head and heart with negativity, the more I judged, envied, doubted, the more I drank. The more I drank the less I believed in myself. The less I believed in myself the greater the impossibility in self-imposed expectations. The greater the failure I had set myself up for the more I needed to impose my intolerance on others, the more I needed to project my disappointment onto someone else.

Once I began to learn more about my regressive thinking, my self-limiting beliefs and the awful effects they have on me the more aware I became that I needed to pay attention to me, to keep my house clean, to mind my side of the street. Acceptance has been a subject of extensive study and I by no means am at the head of the class. However, with gratitude and an open heart I am learning to accept what I need to about myself and learning about what it is I can and should change. By extension, I am learning to accept others, learning to accept actions and ideas that do not belong to me. I am learning that all the energy I used to spend on resenting something or someone that I would not accept acted as an unyielding tide that would ceaselessly erode the foundation of my humanity and threatened to wash away my ability to live freely and simply.

There are things that I can change but those things reside only within me. With a clear and sober mind I can recognize and identify what is within reasonable change, and can  set reasonable expectations. With a clear and sober heart I can breathe freely, I can welcome differing perspectives, I can receive.

Today, however, I struggle with a resentment that rankles within my head, festers and threatens to poison my well-being. I am struggling. I have not forgotten what I have learned to date and am embracing my admission of being human. I will step through this. I will take action to change what I can (that which lies within me) and accept what I can. I will persevere with strength and confidence and release with tolerance and understanding. I will continue to learn.


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