June 1, 2011

June 1: Where From Come Resentments?

(Inspired by today's Courage to Change in Alanon.)

I was intrigued to hear this message shared in an Al-anon meeting and am happy to share it across the Program Divide:

"An expectation is a premeditated resentment."   To me this suggests that when I have a resentment, I do not have to look far to find where it arises from (un) conscious expectations.

Here is an example: My mom  is less attentive to being on time than I. When I make plans to meet up with her and my dad, I can be pretty sure that, whatever time we set to meet up, my mom will make both of them late. If I expect them to be on time, I am establishing conditions that are bound to nurse a resentment (and create a complaining story to boot). When I choose to make a plan with my mother that is based on no expectation of her promptness, I am less likely to experience resentment.

I need to remember the power of choices: 

I can choose standards of behavior for myself that work for me. However,  I do not have the right (much less the power) to impose my standards on others.

I am learning to accept myself, and extending that same respect to others more and more each day. I've noticed I have fewer resentments too.  Adapted from Living with Sobriety

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