I was driving home today, having had an enjoyable morning. I had no particular reason to be upset about anything. Everything had gone quite well all morning.
I could see a sleek, black Mercedes Benz coming up behind me. I just knew that he intended to fly right by me, pull in abruptly, and turn right at the intersection just ahead that I was also going to turn at. I was right. That's what he did, even though I tried to accelerate my little 17 year old Nissan Sentra to keep him from trying to do it. I became resentful almost immediately, even though I knew this was going to happen, and even though I knew that I could just as easily drive on calmly and thus avoid having him affect me in any way. (He was going fast enough.)
What is wrong with me?!!
It turns out that there is plenty wrong with me. My feelings of entitlement lead to resentment. My judgmentalism leads to resentment. My painful memories lead to resentment. My expectations lead to resentment. (I can definitely relate to the saying that expectations are pre-meditated resentments.) Any wrong against me, perceived or real, leads to resentment.
I didn't imagine myself a resentful person prior to working the Steps of this program on my lust. When I read the SA book, I didn't think I could relate to all the mentions of "resentment" (66 times, if my count is right). But having ceased from using my "go-to drug" (lust), resentment seems like a natural replacement.
Sometimes in my more insane moments, I'll find myself making up "the rest of the story", in which I know what the other person will think or say or do, and I'll be ready with the perfect come-back to put them in their place and show the world how "right" I was all along. It can be every bit as much of a fantasy world as my lust fantasies ever were.
The SA book has this to say about resentment.
"I know I get a 'hit' off that resentment every time I play back the scene with that person in my mind. It's like taking a drink from something deep inside me. Why? What's it doing for me? At times I swear I'm hooked on resentment more than I ever was on lust or alcohol!"
Resentment is said to be the number one killer of addicts. We will have to start undoing our addiction from the inside out. (p. 51)
Just as with lust, resentment only loses its grip on me when I surrender of it to God. It is just one more thing over which I apparently have no power.