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Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

July 22, 2012

Age old Question, right?  My mind often asks why the two must be mutually exclusive.  Why, pray tell, can a person not be both right and happy?

Naturally it isn’t as though I can’t be happy when I am right… but in the bigger, broader sense of the alcoholic mind, there is a line that is crossed where becoming “right” becomes a hard-edged blind spot more important than anything else.  It may not even be obvious that this is the case.  At times we hide behind bravado, justifying our behavior with pieces of truth that make sense to us and those around us, but in the end will only end up damaging the internal peace that is required to live a life that can be defined as anywhere near happy, joyous, and free.

I deal with resentment on a daily basis.  I don’t think for a minute that I am unique in this.  What happens is I deal with the resentments I understand and identify with the close of each day… but… what is not always clear is that some resentments are larger and can become a part of routine thinking and behavior.  They bristle underneath and manifest themselves in anger and ego, sometimes in small ways, sometimes by acting out.  The problem is this becomes a habit because it is constant and eventually takes a toll on the spirit both mentally and physically.

In the end the perception (or need) of being right can end up being very, very wrong.

What is fortunate is that I have the capability of changing both behavior and/or environment in order to let go of the resentment that has created the dis-ease for me in the first place.  But just how does one let go of a major resentment they weren’t even honestly aware of in the first place?

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

I heard an acronym that could help today as well:  WAIT (why am I talking?)

What is important for me to remember in learning to change the habit of holding on to any resentment is to understand that resentments are addictive.  For me the very understanding of my addictive personality is going to provide me an awareness necessary to look at whatever the resentment is and know it is likely nowhere near what it has become in my head.

Resentments, like most everything, come from my fear.  They come from feeling like I am not going to get something or the belief that I am losing control.  This is where a resentment derives its strength.  It masks itself as power, which is an illusion.  This doesn’t mean that I am powerless without resentment, because I do have strengths, knowledge, and experience.  If used in the right ways and for the right reasons, all of this honest “power” creates magnificent results.  If used mixed with resentment and impatience I will find myself uncomfortable and searching for escape routes to anywhere but where I am.

My experience tells me I must work through whatever is creating a problem all the way to its solution.  Running away will only provide a short-term answer, and invariably I am going to meet that issue again.  What must be determined in the long run, however, is that I must understand when the problems I resent are not going to change and that I may be better suited raising a white flag and taking my standard of need somewhere that I am better suited (‘and the wisdom to know the difference.’)

But I must identify the triggers of this resentment before there are any decisions made.  Is it a person or persons?  Is it the way something is done, said or handled?  Is it something that can be avoided by not being a part of the problem?  Release of my part in what represents or creates this resentment may be a catalyst in slowly eliminating it.

Last, but not least, I must forgive those involved (including myself) for behaviors that may have provided the angst, anger, frustration that followed.  This is part of the process of letting go.  I must forgive myself and remember that others involved more than likely are (or were) dealing with the same need for control or perception of competition that I was.  It isn’t as though I must walk a mile in the shoes of every person or persons that I have resentments for… but the fact remains that there is always the chance that our experiences within the problem are not all that different.  There may be personality issues, egos, or simply different work ethics on the stage here… but it is up to my to attempt a higher road in order to clean up my role.  I am not responsible (or capable) for dealing with any other person’s behavior.

I love a good challenge but I know this will not be an easy one.  Each moment I waiver I know there inclination will be to run.  The commitment to myself, to my program, and to my life is to work through this until the solution is in a comfort zone.  I know this is possible, I have been here before.  I know the path towards this solution because I have taken it before.  I need only remember……

Stop. Smile. Breathe.  If the smiling doesn’t seem possible I will just stop and breathe.

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