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Blame, Resentments, and Moving Forward

January 8, 2009

Blame is a dangerous thing. Not only can it do damage to others, but often it involves lying to ourselves. It is much easier to point fingers at others and cast responsibility on “them.” And while this may satisfy us for a short time, it will come back to hurt us in the long run.

Over the course of the last year I’ve been enduring a number of struggles. They are too great to enumerate here, but suffice it to say that it was a hard year. While prone to self-examination, and doing a lot of that, I was quite easily led down the path of blame.

I blamed my situation, my friends, my circumstances, my neighbors, society, and so on and so forth”

I blamed my situation, my friends, my circumstances, my neighbors, society, and so on and so forth. Very few escaped the broad swath of blame. Now the scary part is that I didn’t realize I was doing this. I knew I was unhappy, I knew I lacked joy, and I knew that there were issues, but in typical fashion, I continued to trudge forward and ignored the consequences.

In the last month I’ve had several epiphanies that have unlocked the the doors to joy, success, and better relationships. It has really been an amazing thing and I’ve had outbursts of laughter as I’ve realized my own blindness and ignorance.

The first epiphany

The first epiphany came just a month ago. To truly understand this, you need to read, or listen to the story, Who Moved My Cheese?

Last year I was doing the job of my dreams, this year I was doing something different. Last year I had autonomy and was seeing amazing things happen, this year I had to process everything through committees. Last year I was living in a state that received 300 days a year of sunshine, this year I live in a state that gets 300 days a year of drizzle.

I first read the above book about six or seven years ago, but recently I picked up an audio copy at a second-hand store. Though I hadn’t listened to it yet, just the title reminded me of the story. It suddenly occurred to me – my cheese had been moved and I was acting like Hem and Haw. Instead of adapting as quickly as I should, I was struggling.

I laughed out loud when I realized this”

The second epiphany came a couple of weeks later. Again, it came from a book that I’d read several years ago. One Size Does Not Fit All, was one of those books I read awhile back, but it is very relevant to me now.

In my previous situation I was the leader, but in my current situation, according to McIntosh, I realize I need to be the lover. While this is a stretch for my giftedness and temperament, it is also an opportunity to grow.

Again, I laughed out loud. In fact, I laughed for a week on this one.

We knew that we were here following God’s calling, but I didn’t realize just how much of a shift it was from my previous position.

The third epiphany came in the last couple of weeks. We had an opportunity to visit our previous home and friends. It was after that visit that I realized how important those folks are to us and how much we miss them. And during the long drive home, I began to realize how many resentments I had regarding last-year’s move.

I learned through my 12-Step Journey that “expectations are premeditated resentments.” But I didn’t realize all the expectations I had accumulated over the past few years.

First, I expected to be so successful in my previous project that my employer would throw money and more resources our way. Second, I never expected to leave the home where my wife and I had settled and where my kids were born. Third, I expected things here to be different. And on and on went the missed expectations and ugly resentments.

When I began to realize all the harbored resentments in my soul, I again laughed out loud. I’ve been laughing for a couple of weeks now.”

Releasing those resentments has been very healing. In addition, I’ve been repairing some broken relationships that occurred through my building resentments.

So, in nutshell, over the course of the last month I’ve realized that my situation changed, and so do I. I realized just what my current situation is, and I’ve begun to take steps to re-educate myself and grow into the challenge. Finally, I realize how I’ve been weighed down under a load of resentment, and I’ve let go of that.

“They” say that life is a journey, and I’ve always agreed. But somehow I thought that journey should be easy – it isn’t. There are potholes and detours; roadblocks and distractions; clear sailing and storms.

While I’ve been through this part of the journey before (e.g. depression, divorce, missed hopes, and failed dreams), I feel now like I’ve learned this lesson better than I ever have before. It always makes me said to see people stuck in time and expecting something else.

I’m hoping and praying that others can move past their resentments and grasp the opportunities of the present.”

I’ve got to say, that since I learned that my cheese has been moved, discovered where to find my new cheese, and let go of the resentment that prevented that journey – I’m re-experiencing the joy of life!

“And that, has made all the difference.”


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One Comment
  1. January 16, 2009 9:59 am

    Sounds like some of my recent experiences with gratitude, realizing how little I appreciated what God and others had done and are doing for me.

    Cultivating gratitude for the grace of God in my life is helping me with all sorts of negative feelings, from resentment to worry.

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