The Surprising Relationship Between Resentment and Procrastination

The Surprising Relationship Between Resentment and Procrastination

I wanted to title this post “The Surprising Relationship Between Forgiveness and Productivity,” but I thought, if you’ve suffered from procrastination like I have, then pointing out forgiveness’ beneficent effects on procrastination might feel more useful to you.

So let me share a little bit of my experience.

I’ve struggled to consistently pursue my dreams. I’ve done it in fits and starts. One of the reasons for this is the significant amount of often very subtle emotional abuse I experienced growing up.

My family is profoundly affected by addiction and family addiction, and one of the ways these dynamics play out is to undermine, and at times outright emotionally crush, anyone who’s “getting a little too big for their britches.”

I’ve been in family recovery for 16 years now, and I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of healing around this. But one thing that stuck with me for a long time was thinking that achieving a dream or reaching a goal would somehow show up all the people who had tried to keep me down.

Denial is a funny thing because, with all that experience in family recovery, it took me a long time to realize that thinking my achievements were somehow going to “show them” meant that my actions were still revolving around them. In other words, I was keeping the focus on others and not on myself.

I have a dear friend in recovery who does vision cards (like a vision board, but just one idea/image per card.) I was privileged to be able to make vision cards with her for the people on our 4th step lists. These cards were a visual representation of praying that everything I want for myself to be given to these people on my list, just like it suggests in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’d write their name on one side of the card, and put an image representing what I want for them on the other.

I started meditating on these cards almost every morning, and wouldn’t you know! I have become much more productive and consistent in the process. I am much better at nipping procrastination in the bud.

Not that I should be surprised. I mean, wouldn’t a loving Higher Power want me to use my goals and my dreams to fill my heart up, rather than nurse a resentment?

But this level of resentment for me was a layer deep within the proverbial onion. There were other layers that needed to be released before I could recognize this one. Nevertheless, it’s incredibly freeing to be released from it.

So now I’d like to hear from you. Is there a particular goal you are pursuing from which a resentment is holding you back? If so, how might get support for letting it go so you can be freer to pursue your dreams?

Share your experience, strength, and hope in the comments. I read every one.

The Gifts From Those You Resent

The Gifts From Those You Resent

As I became an adult, there was one thing I was most adamant I would never do: become like my mother.

Oh dear God, PLEASE don’t EVER let me become like my mother!

And for the longest time, I was real clear on all the ways in which I was never. ever. going to be like my mother.

I probably don’t have to tell you that it didn’t quite work out that way. As each subsequent Fourth Step peeled away the layers of denial, I was both humbled and horrified to recognize all the ways in which I had in fact repeated many of my mother’s destructive behaviors that had been so hurtful to me. They were just dressed up a little differently.

Fourth Steps have always been a part of forgiveness for me. Seeing the same defects in myself, and recognizing how I got them, allows me to recognize that others probably came by those behaviors honestly, too. It allows me to have compassion.

But there’s another piece to this.

I had spent so much time focusing on my mother’s defects that I failed to recognize her gifts. (more…)