How about this: When experiencing anger and resentment towards someone else, make a list of all of the other person’s faults and all the things they’ve ever done that seem offensive. Then go tell that person all the reasons why they are just wrong.
It does to me because that is what I did for years. I held other people responsible for my unhappiness.
Despite my diligence in tracking and noting other people’s faults – I devoted hours of ‘mind-share’ to it daily – my own unhappiness never seemed to get resolved.
I began to understand why, when I came across this:
“-Make a list of all persons we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.
“-Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
“-Continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong promptly admit it.”
That’s because these are steps 8, 9, and 10 of the powerful Twelve Step programs.
It was in becoming familiar with the Twelve Steps that I began to see that I had things bass-ackwards.
Instead of inventorying others’ faults and blaming them, I needed to inventory my own faults and ‘fess up.
And because I was prone to depression, I had to learn to become aware of my faults without blaming even myself for them. Observe, not judge.
This predated the time when I began to really pay attention to and question my own thoughts. This was wonderful, solid groundwork for the thought-questioning process that came later.
Taking responsibility for our own emotions is one of the most powerful things we can do for our Self in one lifetime.
Our emotions are caused by our own thoughts.
My experience is that only through taking responsibility for my own emotions – and the thoughts that create them – am I able to clear my mind of relentless negativity and find respite, peace.