Home Workshops Bob D. – AA Speaker – Why having resentments is dangerous in sobriety

Bob D. – AA Speaker – Why having resentments is dangerous in sobriety

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Prior to doing this my first two inventories, if you would have asked me the exact nature of my wrongs, I would have told you about the guy that was stabbed and about the money I stole. But it’s there’s something underneath all of that. The exact nature of where I was wrong. Where was I wrong? Where was my perception screwed to be driven to do these things? Where was I wrong? At the bottom of the page, it says we went back through our lives with honesty and thoroughness. The first thing apparent was that this world, and its people, are often quite wrong. To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us, and we stayed sore. But the more we tried to have our own way, the worse matters got. As in war, the victor only seemed to win. Our moments of triumph were short lived. “It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness.” The book spends the next two paragraphs hammering in to us this the deadliness of resentments, saying they were infinitely grave and are basically poison. They shut us off from the sunlight of the Spirit.

I mean, the book is really just hammering this in to us. When you’re full of resentments, you feel like you’re dying anyway. Then comes the second line in the last full paragraph, it brings me to a point that is I think is important. It comes from an assumption that I think if it’s not true, it’s going to be hard to go on and to do the real work that’s coming up. It says we were prepared to look at these from entirely different angle, and be willing to admit, that I could possibly be wrong about these people. Am I willing to look at it from an entirely different angle and to do that? What would that be? I have been looking at it from a prosecuting attorneys point of view. I got my case files against these guys. So an entirely different angle would be to walk across the courtroom, sit on the bench for the defense, and now start looking at it and talking about it from their point of view. Looks a little different from over there.

What’s the story of the guy I’m angry at for telling his friend about what happened between me and him. I betcha it’s different than my story. I betcha there’s a line here that I had an experience with what this line touches on. It says that in this state the wrongdoings of others, fancied or real, had the power to actually kill. When I was new fairly new in sobriety, there was a guy named Billy. He was a good guy. He was an old timer he used to take guys like me out to coffee. I got a lot of my AA at coffee shops with old timers after meetings. They just spoon feed it to me. One night in a coffee shop with this guy Billy I ended up telling him some things about myself that were very very secretive things. These were the things I was the most ashamed of. You know the things I’m talking about, right?

After I shared these things, Billy’s schedule changed and he went to different meetings. Finally, I ran in to him at a meeting, he had a pained expression on his face and he seemed a bit distant towards me, not his usual self. I thought he was judging me for the secrets I told him. Was he telling people? Why was he judging me? I had made up this huge scenario in my head where he was telling people and thought bad of me. Well, when the meeting is over, the chairman asks if anyone has a burning desire to share. Billy did. He then tells everybody in the room that the biopsy came back and the tumor was malignant and it’s an advanced type of a very bad cancer. He said he has a very short time to live. I sat there and I thought about this, because I realized that saying hi to Bob on the day I found out he was dying, was probably not a big priority. I realized that he was probably so afraid, and up in his head, that he’d been consumed. The distant and the pained look on his face didn’t have to do with me. It was like a little postcard from God. “Dear Bob, you don’t know crap.”

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