Forgive My Blog

resentment and appreciation

I’ve been practising Radical Honesty for years (you can tell, can’t you). A key part of that practise is reporting your thoughts and feelings while they are happening. And a particular taboo that nobody likes to expose, is anger.

The way we expose that is by saying

I resent you for [description of specific thing they said or did]

When you do that a lot, you often get down to appreciation, and you say:

I appreciate you for [description of specific thing they said or did]

And then if you keep going through that layer you often find more resentment. What’s that thing about onions?

The purpose is of course to expose the ego, to fascilitate forgiveness.

Something my friend said about gratitude struck a chord for me. She pointed out that gratitude is love. But then what’s the relationship between gratitude and appreciation?

Appreciation (at least the way I’ve been using it) is specific. Gratitude can be non-specific. We’ve started saying “I’m grateful in your direction” (instead of “I’m grateful to you”). As it makes it “all about me” instead of blaming our gratitude on someone else, which would be saying that they have power over us.

What I’ve realised is that resentment is special hate and appreciation is special love. When either occur it is best to confess them, but now that I seem to have no special hate or special love, I seem to have no resentment and also no appreciation.

I don’t resent anyone for anything. I don’t appreciate anyone for anything. But I am grateful. Enormously grateful. But it’s mostly a sort of non-specific gratitude. It’s not personal.