Resentment, Fear & Sex Inventory: Understanding Why We Need To Do Them
Bart Ross | Recovery & Alumni Services Coordinator
“Resentment is the ‘number one’ offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.”
How and why?
Resentments can appear in many different forms. Some signs that we may be harboring resentments include:
- Recurring feelings of an emotion, such as anger, frustration or just an uneasy feeling when thinking about a specific person, interaction, or experience
- Inability to stop thinking about the event that caused strong emotions
- Feelings of regret or remorse
- Fear or avoidance of a person, interaction or experience based on past experience
- A tense relationship
- Feeling invisible, inadequate, or less-than around a person or particular place, based on past experience
- Inability to let go of anger, or a desire for revenge.
Our goal is to live in God’s time and that means being present in the moment. When a resentment rears its ugly head, we’re living in the past and not in the present.
When anger has no outlet, it becomes resentments and can hide in the back of our mind, sneaking out at unexpected times. We may not always be thinking of them, but they can be there waiting to block us of from the Sunlight of the Spirit. Hanging onto resentments doesn’t serve us in any way. Sometimes it may feel like it does, but that is merely our ego working against us.
“If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison”
Now, let’s address the concept of fear. “This short word somehow touches about every aspect of our lives.”
How many opportunities have we missed because we were afraid to show up for them?
- New job
- New relationship
- Joining a team
- During uncertain times, we tend to look ahead and project toward negative outcomes.
How many people have we upset because we were not honest, as a result of fear?
- Made a mistake, kept it quiet, and got found out
- Pretended to be somebody we’re not
How many times have you had an idea, but didn’t follow through with it?
Fear strips us of our peace of mind, our happiness, and our dreams.
“Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing. It seems to cause more trouble.”
When fear is present, we’re not living in the present, we’re living in the future. If our minds are in the future, it’s impossible to fully enjoy the moment that God has given us here and now.
A common question is, I understand why resentments and fear inventories are important, but why a sex inventory?
Even though “We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct”, we need to consider that we more than likely used sex conduct as a way of getting out of self and not being present. Even if it may have been flirting, or using it for power, it’s still a form of avoidance or false power. When we are looking for companionship out of loneliness, we are looking for it out of a need for attention and comfort from someone else. Someone is sure to get hurt.
“Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth. It depends on our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink.”
Relationships take work. If we work on our relationship with God first, we will develop a relationship with ourselves. Then, and only then, will we be able to be okay with aloneness.
When we are okay with aloneness, God will show us a healthy relationship with someone else.
When we look at the steps, 2/3 of them are for taking inventory. That’s 4, 5, 10 & 11. It’s important for us to continue to be diligent with these steps. I believe we all want to live up to the potential and happiness God has for us. We can only do this if we are present. In order to stay present and grow towards this ideal, we must continue to see where we are falling short, and then turn to God for help. We owe this to ourselves and the people around us. What we carry around with us reflects out to the people we interact with in our lives.
“The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the great fact for us.”
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