“He said, ‘If you become steadfast in your abstentions of thoughts of harm directed towards others, all living creatures will cease to feel enmity in your presence.’
“But at the higher level, when there are no justified resentments, what you are doing is you are at a place where you are sending love in response to hate.”
by After Skool
October 17, 2023
Wayne Walter Dyer (May 10, 1940 – August 29, 2015) was an American self-help author and a motivational speaker. Dyer completed a Ed.D. in guidance and counseling at Wayne State University in 1970. Early in his career, he worked as a high school guidance counselor, and went on to run a successful private therapy practice.
He became a popular professor of counselor education at St. John’s University, where he was approached by a literary agent to put his ideas into book form. The result was his first book, Your Erroneous Zones (1976), one of the best-selling books of all time, with an estimated 100 million copies sold. This launched Dyer’s career as a motivational speaker and self-help author, during which he published 20 more best-selling books and produced a number of popular specials for PBS. Influenced by thinkers such as Abraham Maslow and Albert Ellis, Dyer’s early work focused on psychological themes such as motivation, self actualization and assertiveness.
Transcript prepared by Truth Comes to Light editor:
I was in a group one time of drug addicts and alcoholics. And I was one of the people that was a sponsor and leading this group. And the sign on the wall said “There are no justified resentments in this group”.
And what I said to that group that night was, “No matter what anybody says to you here, no matter what kind of anger comes directed towards you, no matter how much hate you may encounter showing up in your life, there are no justified resentments.”
Meaning that if you carry around resentment inside of you about anything or about anyone —
And I’m talking about the person that you lent money to and hasn’t paid you back.
I’m talking about the person in your life that you feel was abusive.
I’m talking about the person who walked out on you and left you for somebody else.
I’m talking about all of the things that you have justified in your heart and in your life that you have the right to be resentful about.
And I’m suggesting to you that those resentments will always end up harming you and creating in you a sense of despair.
I’ve often said that no one ever dies from a snake bite. The snake bite will never kill you. You cannot be unbitten. Once you’re bitten, you’re bitten. But it’s the venom that continues to pour through your system after the bite that will end up destroying you.
So now you have to take a look at all of the resentments that you may have in your life. And I’d like to suggest to you that I think there is a wonderful metaphor for this that I have created in my life for how to make this work.
There’s a show called ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’. And basically this show has two levels that you have to get to.
Now the first level is the thousand dollar level. And at the thousand dollar level you basically have to answer a question like, on your hand you have some digits. Those digits on your hand are called — your feet? — your nose? — your ears? — your fingers?. Uhhh. And everybody who ever goes on the show has this horrible dread that they’re going to go out on one of those questions. Right?
So basically, in order to get to the thousand dollar level all you have to do is answer five pretty simple questions in order to get to the thousand dollar level. Now the thousand dollar level, for you in this metaphor, means that you will leave with something if you get this. At least get this. This is the thousand dollar level.
You must send blame out of your life for any conditions of your life. Blame has to go.
Now blame means if you’re sitting there with a disease you say, without guilt, “It’s mine. I take responsibility for it.”
This means that if you have been through any tough circumstances in your life, this means if you have a minimal amount of financial security in your life.
This means if your children don’t get along with you.
This means that if your neighbors are taking up a petition to get you out of the neighborhood.
Whatever it might be that’s going on in your life, you name it and everybody has a series of these things that you’re willing to say, “I am here because of the choices that I have made. Right now. I’m willing to say that.” Even though it’s difficult, and we know it’s really not your fault. We know really there’s a lot of people out there who are really bad. All right? But you’re willing to say, “No blame.”
That’s the first level. All right? That’s where you understand “No justified resentment”.
And then on the ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ show, there is what is called the $32,000 level. And the $32,000 level is not only an opportunity for you to walk away with a sizable amount of goodies, but it also is the door opener to multi-wealth. But you got to get to this in order to have an opportunity to move into these transcendent levels. All right? Millionaire spiritual status. All right? You got to get through these next five questions.
And this $32,000 question, or level rather, comes to this. It came to me from a quotation that I used in the writing of ‘A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem’. I read a book that was written a couple of thousand years ago by Patanjali, ‘The Yoga Sutras’, ‘The Aphorisms of Patanjali’. And one of those sutras, one of those aphorisms, observations that this brilliant man made almost 2,000 years ago was this:
He said, “If you become steadfast in your abstentions of thoughts of harm directed towards others, all living creatures will cease to feel enmity in your presence.”
Now this translates to: Blame, pretty basic. No more blame. I’m just not going to assign responsibility to other people for where I am. Because now I have an opportunity to get rid of it. If I think someone else caused it, then I’ve got to wait for somebody else to change in order for me to get rid of it. And you might wait forever for that. But if I take responsibility for it, I can do something, including move on, which might be the most important thing to do.
But at the higher level, when there are no justified resentments, what you are doing is you are at a place where you are sending love in response to hate. You are literally saying, “No matter what comes my way, I am going to be steadfast in my abstention of thoughts of harm directed toward others. I’m going to work hard at, no matter what comes my way, having it come out of me what I want to come out of me. And that is love. And that is a higher energy.”
And if you can get to that level, Patanjali said, all living creatures will cease to feel enmity in your presence.
I have a little girl, a precious little girl. I have six precious girls and two precious sons, but I have a little girl who is almost 12. And she loves animals like no one I’ve ever met in my life. I mean, her whole life revolves around animals. And when we walk in the woods, butterflies avoid me, fly away from people around, and they come and they land right on her arm, and it happens all the time. All living creatures. She couldn’t have a thought of harm directed towards any living creature.
And Patanjali said to us, all living creatures will cease to feel fear or enmity or anger in the presence of those who can send love in response to hate. That’s what I mean when I say there are no justified resentments.
What I’d like to do, I’d like to share a little story here with you. It’s a very tender story. It was sent to me by someone who sends me beautiful things in the mail. And I call it The Teddy Story. And I’d like to read this to you, if I can do it without tearing up. And this story illustrates this as well as anything I’ve ever seen.
There’s a story many years ago of an elementary school teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. As she stood in front of her fifth grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen and making bold Xs and then putting a big F at the top of his paper.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records. And she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.
Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and he has good manners. He’s a joy to be around.”
His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates. But he’s troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”
His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if steps aren’t taken.”
Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy’s withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes he even sleeps in class.”
By now Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in heavy brown paper that he got from the grocery bag.
Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled her children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.
Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my mom used to.”
After the children laughed, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching, reading, writing and arithmetic and instead she began to teach children.
Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him and his mind seemed to come alive, the more she encouraged him the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie, became one of her teacher’s pets.
A year later, she found a note under the door from Teddy telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school third in his class and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Four years after that, she got another letter saying that while things had been tough at times, he stayed in school and stuck with it. And would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the very best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had but now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.
But the story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he’d met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.
Of course Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.
They hugged each other and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”
Mrs. Thompson came, with tears in her eyes, and whispered back, “Teddy you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”
Isn’t that a beautiful story? That symbolizes there are no justified resentments. Work at reaching that $32,000 level. The place where the only thing you have to send is love because that’s what’s inside.
And that’s the message of our greatest spiritual teachers. That’s all they ever had to give away.
Cover image credit: CDD20
Truth Comes to Light highlights writers and video creators who ask the difficult questions while sharing their unique insights and visions.
Everything posted on this site is done in the spirit of conversation. Please do your own research and trust yourself when reading and giving consideration to anything that appears here or anywhere else.