I thought I’d repost this entry, as I’ve added some reflection to the process of resentment inventory, specifically the 4th column, which can produce frequent migraines, as well as other unbecoming side-effects. The new stuff follows the instructions below.
Before reading and using these instructions, please first read the post, Resentment.
(See also Resentment Inventory Example afterwards for an example, as well as Fear Inventory and Sex Inventory. Also see More Inventory, Home Depot Inventory & Resenting Ourselves?)
So here are the instructions for writing resentment inventory:
It is so important to dig in with this process and find these answers, as it brings us clarity and understanding to the flawed ways we think and therefore act. Sure it may be that first answer that pops into your head, but it also may be something deeper or more subtle. We want the best answer, the most honest answer for each category.
For example, when my wife is suffering and I’m trying to enjoy the football game or some other nonsense, I resent her (I know, pathetic). But part of why I resent her is my own self-seeking. I want to be seen as a perfect husband, so why on earth would she be suffering? And selfishly, I resent her because her suffering takes me out of my comfort zone and therefore I can’t enjoy the football game.
Or in some other circumstance, I want to look like a loving husband by doing something nice, but because she is suffering, she doesn’t notice, and therefore I resent her.
Many resentments are born from expectation, which fall under the dishonest category. Often the truth is that we expect someone to respond a certain way and when they don’t, we cop a resentment. Very selfish. In the instance of my wife, I expected her to praise me for all I’ve done and when not only she doesn’t, but she simultaneously has a problem with me about some other thing, I resent her. The resentment is actually my fault because I was expecting a different response from her.
Remember, when we don’t get what we want from others, we resent. And to avoid seeing the truth of our expectation and to avoid taking responsibility, we retaliate like children. That is just one of many character flaws to be identified… and eventually exorcised from our being through Steps 5, 6 and 7.
Also to note, sometimes we exhibit our selfishness or dishonesty well after the event, like if someone abuses us but we lash out at others down the road who had nothing to do with the abuse.
It’s this type of searching that we must engage in to find our deepest truth. It’s this type of painstaking focus that we find purity in our work, and thus the greatest rewards – the rewards of change. So don’t be afraid, pray if you are stuck, and always remember that in every resentment, we were somehow selfish, self-seeking, dishonest or afraid, whether before, during, or after.
Good luck… and check out the link below.
God, help me to see those things that block me from You and Others…