Friday, June 06, 2008

resentments - advice please??

12 steppers, please help. i am really struggling with a resentment and have realized that this is an area that i'm weak in - first of all identifying it, then what to do with it? i have dealt with close loved ones before with my resentments, but rarely with friends, especially friends who have no recovery.

this one just won't leave me alone and it involves a woman in our small group who i love, but is difficult. she is open and giving, but it seems the giving has strings, and they are usually financial. i am a naturally generous person. i don't say this in pride, it's really something i don't have to work at - i hold things very lightly, especially money and i can give away just about anything without strings and actual joy because i love that it might bless someone else like i have been blessed.

i keep running into interactions when she chooses to be cheap or nickels and dimes me and it's really starting to grate on me. they live in a financial world we could only dream of. i would willingly give her anything i have and when in community i always give my best. we don't skimp on the food we bring and actually go out of our way to be extravagant. we know this is a world of abundance and want to bless those we commune with - i am just finding it so hard to not let this build up in a way that makes a wall. i want to model abundance and not scarcity, but her scarcity mindset is wearing me down.

help. please. i have prayed. i have given generously hoping to set an example, i have asked god to take away the resentment and find release until the next interaction. i am afraid because i am beginning to want to be petty. i want to gossip and slander her - i want to show myself to be honorable and her to be stingy.

i am really struggling to do this the right way - but i don't know how to verbalize this to her without doing damage to the relationship. wisdom is needed - i'm not afraid to talk with her - i just want more light than heat - and i don't know that it's my place to talk with her - 12 steppers - please weigh in on this, i so don't want it to destroy the community we have. thank you!


p said...

hey love bug :)

there is a prayer that has been circulated in the rooms called "the resentment prayer" and it goes like this, taken from page 67 of the big book of alcoholics anonymous:

The Resentment Prayer

Please help me show _________ the same tolerance, pity, and patience that I would cheerfully grant a sick friend. Help me to see that __________ is a sick person. Show me how can I be helpful. Save me from being angry.

Help me to avoid retaliation or argument. I know I cannot be helpful to all people, but at least show me how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one. Your will be done.

also, there is this link i found that directly speaks to resentment and forgiveness. easier to read than it is to do.

love you, dear one :)

Hope said...

Those Joe and Charlie Big Book study talks really helped me in this area.
Not sure I'm any less resentful in real life but they give me a compass when I am. I'd recommend listening to the step 4 talks. They clearly lay out how to deal with resentments. I could type out my notes here but each person takes away what they need when they hear a talk and you might hear something different than what jumped out at me. (That whole story thing going on) Those talks are good stories that change the way a person views life.

When I read your post I could hear my addictions counselor saying, "So, you had an expectation." Which is what she often says to me when I have a resentment. To which I often think, 'oh shit.'

I'd be asking myself why your friend's scarcity mindset wears you down. What does it trigger in you. That's the part you can do something about. Her scarcity mindset won't change until she has the tools or skills to do anything different. And it's insanity to want to help her get them. That will take energy needed to focus on your own recovery. Your job is to hold to the light why her mindset triggers you.

Please know I say all this with enough resentments of my own that have been illuminated by the actions of others. I tend to want to run the other way or wish to God the other person would change so I wouldn't have to look at myself in it. But in the end, triggers are a gift. I know, I know - PSFD it all anyway.

Hugs to you today dear friend.

bobbie said...

thank you both! i hope to have the time tomorrow to look at both resources, hopefully they'll infiltrate themselves by osmosis into my soul right now because we're headed there TONIGHT....

i just want to bitch about it first! PSFD is right hope.

althought "cheerfully granting a sick friend" does have a bit of a pleasant sting to it! :p damn i'm angry. save me god.

i will sit with the trigger hope, i don't know what shadow this triggers except for the fact that my whole childhood was filed with scarcity.

Hope said...

Can you embrace your story of scarcity?

btw - I love the pic of you with your arms wide open. Beautiful.

bobbie said...

I HAVE.... damn.


not enough though it seems... psfd.

Patchouli said...

Arms wide open--that's the woman I know. Arms and heart wide open.

Judi said...

bobbie, i think hope brought up some good questions.what is going on in *you* that this gets to you? is it an expectation? is it frustration that she's not as open and giving as you are? (then continue setting your example, do not grow weary of doing good!)

you can't change her but you can change how you respond to her. and if you continue to bottle it up inside of you, my concern would be that it would eventually leak out and possibly hurt her.

said in love...given with grace... thanks for being transparent.


Tara said...

Once again I miss the hot topic. And yet once again I will jump in after the water is cooled and offer my 2cents.
What I 'hear' over and over is "I try to show this" and "I try to model that". Be that as it may...there is something there that needs your attention (what is your motive?). Perhaps this is a covert 'fix' job? IDK.
I agree with the expectation piece. Again there is something there for you. Maybe you want her to perscribe to the same generosity as yourself?
Seeing someone who has no recovery as 'sick' can be helpful only with grace extended to that person because it releases us from our own sickness in wanting to fix/rescue/enable/etc. It rarely addresses what the motivator is for us. The trigger. I want to encourage you that what you need to model is your recovery...maybe try getting honest with your feelings towards her...WITH HER? Ask yourself this: Who does she remind me of? The answer may surprise you.
Great honesty!! Thanks. Hugs.

Texaco said...

I'd also point you to the sentence, "We are not doormats."

I tend to disengage, at least for awhile, and I always pray for them. I only limit that prayer to "Thy will be done in _____'s life and bless them."

Sarah Louise said...

what is psfd?

and some good advice has been given.

People are funny about money.