Resentments or gratitude ~ choose wisely

To: The Resentful Angry (would-be) Tyrant (aka The RAT)

After reading that you’re being evasive about whether you’ll attend the virtual G20 this weekend I really wanted to use the word “slacker” in the salutation today but decided to go with something that can be shortened to a punchy acronym instead. I figure that the “slacker” moniker fit you yesterday and all the days before yesterday and will remain appropriate for most, if not all of the days between now and 1/20/21 so I can pull it out at some point down the road if I want.

Remember how the other day I arrived at the realization that love makes it easier to face scary things and that it helps prevent us from getting hooked by resentment and hate of whomever (or whatever) is feared? Ok, you probably don’t remember – it’s really hard to remember new things without some sort of framework or mental (or emotional, in this case) scaffolding within which to situate the new learning. I get that, for sure. But still, if one is motivated and willing to work with new ideas and even practice them, you can create the necessary frames and scaffolding to incorporate those new ideas. It’s too late for you to do that in any meaningful way that the country could benefit from before you leave office, but it sure would be amazing if you’d give this a whirl as one of your post-POTUS priorities. If you did that I might be willing to entertain the idea that there’s a big G-God out there somewhere.

Ha! I think my atheism is perfectly safe.

The reason I’m bringing this idea back is that yesterday someone reminded me of another key way to protect from getting stuck in hateful resentments – the practice of gratitude. Here’s the definition my Google algorithm spits out:

“the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”

Isn’t that nice? I love that the definition really captures the idea that gratitude is a practice or behavior and not just a solo feel good attitude – “readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness” – awesome! Yes please. How about we sprinkle some more of that around? It would be like activated carbon (aka activated charcoal), which absorbs atmospheric and wastewater pollutants, but instead gratitude could be activated to absorb and neutralize toxic resentments and hatred.

Here’s what the “People Also Ask” says about why gratitude is important:

“Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

And just to be thorough, I think it’s worth including what my Google algorithm spits out about how resentment can effect us humans:

“Resentments can cause the following: Headaches and chronic pain. Insomnia and a higher tendency for alcohol and drug abuse. High blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke.”

They forgot to mention that resentment makes people ugly and I’m not sure what the deal is with the punctuation, but the point comes through clearly – stoking resentment is a health liability and cultivating gratitude is a health enhancer. Consequently, I don’t think it’s that much of a leap to say that not only are you endangering your peeps in the short run by encouraging them to disregard social distancing and to run around mask-less, but you’re firmly planting them on a path of resentment-fueled poor physical health and psychological misery for the long haul.

I bet Vladimir is beyond pleased; not only is intense (misguided) righteous indignation topped off with hate a recipe for disaster for individuals, but it’s also an awesome way to tank a democracy. Nice going, RAT.

May we be safe from resentments.
May we be willing to cultivate gratitude.
May we have the strength to look for even the thinnest slivers of silver linings.
May we accept that staying emotionally healthy is harder work than giving in to dis-ease.

Tracy Simpson

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