Letting Go of Resentment
Releasing the Past
How can we really put an end to festering resentments toward other people? “Pray for these people,” the Old-timers said. “Go out of your way to do something good for them.” This is a big order for most of us, but we are working for a big reward: Sobriety, peace of mind, and personal progress.
When we pray for others in this manner, we’re practicing the noble art of forgiveness. How do we know when it’s staring to work? Lewis B. Smedes, a master teacher of forgiveness, offers this thought: “You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.”
Forgiveness also is supposed to include forgetting the wrong. What we really forget is the hurt connected with it. When anything that once evoked pain comes to mind, we’re growing spiritually if it no longer has the power to hurt us.
We then discover that we had been letting go our resentments hurt us again and again. We also learn that one effort to forgive is not nearly enough. Forgiveness takes the same amount of practice and emotional power we put into carrying the resentment!
Today will bring enough problems. I don’t have either the time or the energy to play the old tapes that cause me pain. I’ll practice praying for those who hurt me, and I’ll take it for granted that my HIgher Power is removing my resentments.
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