The resentment form has 3 main parts.
More about "selfish"
When I do a BB style inventory, I list the things I want under "selfish." I do not understand "selfish" to be an insult the way it is used outside program. Instead, it is just the things that I want.
It is normal to want things. What is bad is if I want things so much that I get sick if I don't get those things. Also, when I want things I cannot have, I am not surrendered.
Before program I did not allow myself to say or even know many of the things I wanted. I spoke indirectly, all around what I meant or felt. The things I said were not honestly related to what was going on inside me. I blew up a lot, because I had so much bottled up, but my blowups were mysterious and sudden, without people having the opportunity to understand what they might have done to offend me – and without me even understanding what was bothering me.
Through repetition in program, by doing this inventory process, I have learned to identify what I want and list those things calmly. This means that I know myself better than I used to. I am not stuffing down. I am being honest. Since I list things calmly and rationally, I am more likely to get what I want than if I isolate or get sullen & resentful as I used to. I have become a better negotiator, because of the Big Book process.
Also, because I know and am comfortable with myself, I find it easier to listen to and understand other people. Their concerns are less likely to destabilize me than before.
Understanding selfishness has helped me feel saner and more integrated with the human race.
I have a friend who has wanted to stop the genocide in Darfur. Now, really, if there is anything that she is powerless over, it's the genocide in Darfur, but she could not accept that. She had a sign in her front yard that said "not on my watch: stop the genocide in Darfur." Social activists are often overweight, because they cannot get what they want. They might be acting selflessly by the standards of the outside world, but not by the standards of program.
More about "dishonest"The Dishonest category was something I really did not understand at first. I thought it only related to lies that I told other people or stealing. I did not understand that it included lies I was telling myself. These are the harder ones to see.
For me, dishonesty includes: not accepting how much can be accomplished in a day, how much can be accomplished in a lifetime, how much sleep I need, how much time for self care. I make myself crazy over these things.
Some other categories of dishonest that I had trouble seeing were:
- I don't accept people, places, and things the way HP made them. I think I know better than HP.
- Allowing other people to esteem and value me, e.g. "people pleasing" In fact, HP is the one who should esteem and value me. If I am allowing others' opinions of me to make me miserable, I am making other people into HP
- I thought it was my responsibility to make others happy. No, it is my responsibility to keep my side of the street clean, using the steps. If I do that, and others are unhappy with me, then that is not my problem. It's their problem. Only HP can make others happy. If I think I can make others happy, then I'm thinking I'm HP.
More about self-seekingThis category is particularly troublesome, as to what it means. How is it different from "selfish?"
I heard 3 explanations of this
1. It is the same as selfish and is just listed as "elegant variation," a writing style thing, in the list.
2. It is "seeking yourself in others," i.e. people pleasing. I personally put this category under "dishonest."
3. How I acted out. That's the one I prefer. What did I do as a result of being selfish, dishonest, and afraid? There are a lot of things that could be put in here.
The most common for female compulsive overeaters is constantly putting out a cloud of negative emotions, which makes everyone miserable. As with everything in program, there is a spectrum here. We want to find a happy medium between: being constantly negative and being falsely cheerful, which is emotionally dishonest. The truth is somewhere in between. Black & white thinking is not good.
Another way of acting out is somatizing. I learned more about this when I did ACA. If I have psychosomatic symtoms, e.g. nervous stomach, blushing, rapid heartbeat, (or in my case also eczema and back spasms can also result from stress) that can often be my first warning that I need to do some stepwork. My body is warning me. I put that under here because it's important to be aware of body warning signals.