By Craig Gross
Hey guys, Craig here. Happy New Year!
This January, we’re going to be talking about a project that we’ve been working on called: Resentment. One night, a few months back, it hit me that so many people are afraid to get help and pursue healing because they can’t stop looking back at their past.
So, I decided that I wanted to talk about it.
The root of your pain is not your porn addiction. It’s not your failed marriage. There’s something underneath all of that.
It might be trauma.
It might be pain.
It might be something that you did, or it might be something that was done to you.
No matter what it was, you’re experiencing resentment because you can’t or won’t let go.
So, we started Resentment.org to help one another discover the root – to figure out the why – and how to dig it up.
In today’s Whiteboard Session, Steven Luff, a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of CA, co-author of Pure Eyes: a Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and creator of the X3Pure on-line recovery program, talks about how to identify and move past resentment.
So much of the resentment that we experience grows out of disappointment caused by unmet expectations.
We have our eyes on some imaginary promised land, or a fantasy about something that we were supposed to have but didn’t get. As we hang on to that fantasy, rather than accepting our reality and recognizing that we have the freedom to change – to make our own decisions and live our own lives – our bitterness grows and compounds upon itself.
The brain can heal. It’s pliable. But to heal requires an acceptance of the things that happened. So much of recovery is about growing up.
People don’t want to look back. It’s understandable. Once you start looking back, you feel like your whole world is falling apart. The trick is to be in a community of people who can support you through the fall.
There’s a saying in recovery communities:
“When you’re falling apart, you’re actually falling together.”
Once you are able to recognize that you have this feeling called resentment, it’s useful to go to a therapist or someone in the community who can help you unpack your emotions. There’s no shame in asking for help. “I feel this way. Is it realistic that I feel this way? What do I want out of life?”
If you want to get over any challenge you have in your life – especially resentment – it requires your willingness to get up, get out of your chair and find a community of people who can speak into your life in ways that are realistic, honest and loving at the same time.
Those people exist, and they’re ready to meet you.
MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE
- Resentment is a product of me thinking that life is supposed to be something that it isn’t, rather than accepting it as it is and recognizing that I have the freedom to make my own decisions and live my own life.
- Resentment is a product of not accepting the fact that other people in this world can make whatever decisions they want to make.
- Once I was able to understand that I could make – and began to make – my own decisions, I found that I actually have a lot more freedom on this planet than I thought.
- Integrity is the antonym – the opposite – of resentment.
- Christ as the best model for integrity. He was tempted by the devil. He went through his trials and tribulations, but he knew what he was called to do.
- Recovery is about growing up: looking at the past, looking at where you came from, accepting that some things didn’t go the way you wanted them to go. It also doesn’t mean that life ends there.
- God is in new, loving relationships (and not the opposite).
- When you’re falling apart, you’re actually falling together.
- Sometimes you just have to sit with it as it is and say, “that sucked.”
- Real, honest and loving communities of people are out there, waiting for you.