Spiritual Recovery: Giving Up the Toxic Emotions of Hostility and Resentment
Resentment is the stimulus that stimulates the body to grow in an animal way.
Resentment stimulates anger or fear, and we all know the harmful long term effect of these emotions. Anger leads to frustration and depression. Fear leads to suppression.
Remember that a master stimulus can elicit a cascade of responses that eventually reach each individual cell. Because resentment is denial and hate, it is a master stimulus that brings about activities in the body that reflect denial and hate.
It inhibits love, solidarity with others, light heartedness, and hope. It inhibits warmth. It stimulates compensatory reactions and growth. The animal grows as the human wanes. The resentful person becomes more intellectual, more cunning, and tense: on edge for flight or fight.
Amazingly and terribly, it also stimulates susceptibility and sensitivity both to that which is resented and to the environment in general.
And this susceptibility then, in turn, stimulates changes in the body. The resentful person becomes a total victim, who can only survive by victimizing others to keep from wasting away.
Our body was not created just to be used for pleasure-taking or for harboring resentment and hatred. It was made for a much higher purpose.
The body has a structure; and each part of the body and each molecule have a molecular structure, carefully sequenced and carefully arranged.
The basic functions of these structures is to serve the soul or governing entity, providing the ability to move around, observe the environment, and to adapt to temperature changes and so on.
For the young person, in addition to serving as a vehicle for discovering and learning about the world, there is also a maturation factor.
For the adult, the structures serve the person to observe, build a family and perform useful services for the good of all.
For the regenerating, spiritual person, the body provides a mechanism for observing and realizing, learning about the Creator, His love, His requirements, and His creative genius. It will also provide a medium for expressing truth and bringing light and love into the world.
God gives the soul a body for getting around in the world and discovering increasingly sublime things. And God gives us time, so that we might have the space to discover what we need to know to make the next step in our personal evolution. From child to young adult, to mature adult, to increasing wisdom and spirituality.
Along the way, we need protection. We make mistakes and get ourselves into some tight situations.
But for the person who has salvation in his or her future, God provides an out. He even permits us to make mistakes, so that we might learn a lesson. And he sometimes leaves us seemingly alone, so that we might discover our need for Him.
The body performs its work of seeing, hearing, locomotion, and sensing almost effortlessly. This frees up our awareness to discover and ponder.
While on the subject of the body, let me mention an analogy to spiritual well being. Health and nutrition programs that deal with recovery from serious illness always talk about detox. When the body starts to get better, it begins to eliminate the toxic materials that have accumulated. The toxic substances actually prevent or greatly curtail healing.
When the body--because it has been given the space or the missing ingredient to recover, or because harmful practice(s) have been abandoned--begins to heal, the elimination of the toxic substances begins to take place. As they are eliminated, healing is improved also.
With this in mind, let’s now direct our attention back to the the subject of the well being of your inner person. Just what is it that makes us emotionally and spiritually sick? Isn’t it toxic emotions and toxic memories that we can’t seem to shake? Could it be that these toxic emotions and memories have hindered healing?
Just what practice is it that when given up opens the way for emotional catharsis and healthy spiritual detox from toxic emotions and memories? It is the practice of making judgments and harboring resent that we must give up. As long as resentment remains, the toxic emotions and memories associated with each resentment cannot be eliminated.
And what is it that the resentment and toxic emotions are "protecting" and keeping alive? It is a hateful self with wrong attitude: one of pride, judgment, and ambition. Ambition, for example, leads to selfishness—always being on the lookout for some advantage. And selfishness leads to inevitable frustration. Pride is defensive, and leads to resentment when our wrong is exposed. Resentment is the stimulus to hurt feelings, bitterness and so on. And with each hurt feeling or bitterness, there is a memory associated with it.
Can you see how the wrong attitude with its accompanying wrong emotion (resentment) prevents the release of toxic memories and emotions? It is these toxic emotions and memories that block healing.
Ultimately there is only one first step toward true spiritual healing, and that is a change of attitude.