Top two time wasters

by | Feb 17, 2006

1. Resentment

2. Pretending you are or thinking you should be what you’re not.

Think about it. How much time do you spend resenting someone or something that has happened in the past or wanting to be what you’re not? I couldn’t begin to count the hours, days, years I’ve devoted to these two pursuits.

I’ve been onto the costs of resentment for a long time. I’m not immune; however, I have a better than even chance of notcing and undoing it. (I never met a resentment I hadn’t signed up for. Have you noticed?) That is, unless I am suffering the delusion that I am above resentment, That’s a sure way to encourage the pinpricks of frustration into festering sores. And that leads me to the next time waster: thinking I should be better, wiser, or holier than I am.

Now this is a sneaky bugger, for it can masquerade as aspiration (a good thing), accountability (also a good thing), or any number of other perfectly decent ways to relate to one’s way of being in the world. Just about every time I think I am better than or over some lowly human reaction, it bites me. Pride in my facility with undoing resentments morphs into denial. Who, me, upset about that?

Weed out the obvious elements of what Byron Katie terms “the war with the self,” and up pop a dozen more subtle variations. My favorites include:

* “I shouldn’t be self critical.” (Right. Criticize yourself for being too critical. That’ll help.)

” “I am so evolved I don’t need to feel pain about (fill in the blank)…” (Oh. So spiritual and emotional maturity equals catatonia?)

* “I ought to be over this.” (As if reading a recipe were the same as eating the meal.)

The remedy for these (and maybe all?) forms of time wasting? Get over yourself. Again. And again.

You gotta love the human condition.