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In this blog you'll find mostly my thoughts and experiences as well as poems in regards to my Al-anon 12-step recovery.
I hope you enjoy. Please feel free to leave me comments.

Thanks

If someone's drinking, drugging or sobriety is bothering you or if you grew up with drinking or drugs in your home, please find an Al-anon meeting.
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Resentment Prayer

Do you know what the Resentment Prayer is?

Most men or women in AA, if they have read the stories in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, know what it is. Unfortunately, many Al-Anon's are not familiar with it, unless they too have read the book.

I want to tell you about this little gem. It's an amazing tool. It works...How do I know? Because I've used it MANY times over the years in my recovery.

You see, what I've been taught, what I've learned... is that Resentment is the number one offender.
If I am carrying a resentment it begins to spread through me like a slow growing disease. The longer I hold on to it, the sicker I get. Resentment can even mean death for some in recovery.

Alcoholics have lost days and even years of sobriety over a resentment. Al-Anon's will destroy all things around them over a resentment, including themselves. We tend to not hear about Al-Anon's dying from the family disease of alcoholism, but it happens everyday. Alcoholics when drinking and sometimes even when sober are running in full flight from reality and Al-Anon's are CHASING THEM... Tell me... Who's crazier? ...I rest my case. I'm an Al-Anon.. I know how crazy I am.

The Resentment prayer is located at the end of a personal story in the back of the Big Book. The story is titled "Freedom from Bondage"

I have the 3rd edition of the AA big book. In my edition this tool is located on page 552. I believe it's the same in the 4th edition as well.

The story talks about one woman's struggle with her alcoholism and then goes on to tell about her recovery. But she also discusses her resentments. She tells how she stumbled across an article written by a prominent clergyman that talked about Resentment.

I will quote here what she read in that article:
"If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you don't really want it for them, and your prayers are only words and you don't mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love."

Now some of you may be thinking... WOW How can I do that? Well I'm telling you that you can. I've done it and every time I do it.. It works. There are also times when I don't want to do it... When I'm not willing. When this happens I pray for willingness. When that comes I begin praying the prayer as instructed above.

Right now I have MANY resentments I've been holding on to. Resentments are like taking poison and hoping the other person dies. All it does it harm me. I know this... yet I hold on to them. My sponsor recently directed me to pray the resentment prayer for a few people.
I've not done it yet.

Why?

I'm still holding on. Part of me has curled up with my resentments and I'm holding on to them like armor. Another part of me is holding out hope that something will change.
But deep inside my soul I know that it won't.

So I'm in this place where I need to pray for Willingness. I know that when I do this, the Willingness will come as it always does and I will hit my knees and pray this prayer. I will pray for those people. I will wish for them all the wonderful things I want for myself.
And when I am done... I will mean it.

Then I'll be free.

11 comments:

  1. Hayley Mckiney-DowdellJune 9, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    Ooh I have been doing this without even knowing it. Its a thinking process that takes alot of work and I think it hurts more than holding on to your resentments. Once you free your own heart from the bondage of resentment it can be freed up to be filled with love and compassion...

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  2. Working through some issues... I turned to you for your words and thoughts. I absorb your words and open up my mind to see how they can work in my life. Taking time and seeing the plan that has been laid out for me is something I need to do. I keep myself busy to not think about myself and what I need to correct. Thanks for all your thoughts and how beautifully you put them on a page. Love Mara

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  3. Hey, thanks for posting this, I was googling to find which story has the resentment prayer, and ta-daa! Your page. Hugs, Elisabeth

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  4. Yes, thank you so much for posting this. I am so mad that I am the ONLY family member in "recovery"! I guess I have to pray for everyone else.

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  5. You are a very sweet woman. I know alcoholism very well. It is in my family and all over it. Your sons are very lucky to have had a mother who loved them so much. I have a brother who drinks and the pain has been unreal. It helped me to read some of your stuff tonight and im gonna copy that resentment prayer. I have been sober a very long time but I have lost my spiritual way. God bless you and your sons, I am sure they are at peace now with our original source of life. God help us all and peace to you

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  6. I love that prayer - how powerful - to pray for others to have all that you want for yourself! I am grateful for your blog and look forward to reading more. I am also a grateful member of alanon for the past 3 years. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. thank you... i can get what need while i'm @ work ;)

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  8. we get to keep only what we give away. Thank you for caring and sharing your pain, grief, and experience of hope. Peace and blessings.

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  9. Thank you. I knew about the prayer but always forget the Big Book Page. I'm a Naranon member, the support group for Narcotics Anonymous, but I read AA and Alanon literature. Bless you for being there.

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  10. i had a Resentment toward my sister.went my mom die 3 months ago.went i went to her house.to pick her up to have a nice Sunday after noon fishing.after my Big Book study.to drive into her yard to fine that she had All my mom stuff in her yard sale.[God did for me what i could not do for myself] i went fishing and had a good after noon.but i had to let go right there and right now.Because am just a arm Length away from from a drink..so let go and let god.p.s.the morning that my mom pass on i was in a 12;00 Meeting..

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    1. Hang in there, Laura. I'll be praying for you. Your sobriety is more important than anything else.
      I too have a sister I've struggled with. I had to let go of all expectation and focus solely on myself.
      For my own recovery I want and need to be a better sister myself, so I work to only focus on my side of the steet and leave the rest to God.
      God's got you. I promise you that. But he's a gentleman and he waits to be invited in. Hold out your hand and invite him in and you will walk through this with dignity and grace.
      One step at a time.

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