You Can Have a Happy Life … or … You Can Be Right
We love being right. It feels so good. In fact, most of us have been trained from a very young age to simply – be right. We are tested on being right. We are graded and literally measured on how right we are. The more right you are, the better your grade. Then we become adults. And as adults our righteousness can lead to conflict, whether we know it or not. So, is being right really that important? Has any conflict or negativity come into your life as a result of your impulse or need to be right? A wise conversation once revealed to me a very useful message: you can have a happy life or you can be right.
Back in 2009, I had been married for only a couple of years. And on one particular morning, I began my day with the heaviness of a trying evening with my beautiful bride. An acquaintance noticed this change in my demeanor and sincerely inquired if there was anything he could do to help. His eyes showed experience and his face invited me to confide within him. And although our life situations varied a great deal, I could see more depth in his eyes than the current situation presented.
I decided to trust him and conveyed the details of my marital stress (the details of which, now, I truly cannot remember). What was bothering me was clearly not that important in the larger scheme of life, which can often be the case for many of us.
After listening intently as I poured out my frustration, he spoke to me softly and directly. “You can have a happy wife or you can be right.” His simple words affected my mood immediately. My emotions were neutralized and I was able to quickly move forward.
As the years have gone by, those simple words have always resonated within me. And although, he used the word “wife”, I have come to understand his larger meaning that applies to all of “life”. Often we hold on to the most trivial nonsense at the expense of hurting those around us who we truly love the most.
I am very grateful for this event in my life and for the indispensable lesson that it has taught me. Some of the smallest conversations can leave a tremendous impact if we are truly interested in listening.
Some key takeaways from this experience are:
- When we are ready to listen the teacher will appear. God always sends us love
and when we are open to receiving it then we become blessed by it. This love often takes non-traditional forms; therefore it is of critical importance to be open and accepting of all forms, gifts and, of course, individuals.
- Many of the trials and tribulations that we create for ourselves are very minor. In this instance, I was truly upset by something that I cannot even recall to this day. How important could that have been! When I review my life and the lives of those who are close to me, I have observed that some of the issues that bring us the most pain are really quite trivial.
For a wonderful guide on discerning when to let things go, I strongly recommend this article from Keri where she discusses a specific method for letting go.
- Letting go of being right is a key to happiness. We experience this world through relativity. When washing our hands or taking a shower: how could we ever experience hot water in the absence of knowing cold water? In order to experience light, we must know the experience called dark. What is right, without wrong?
When we learn to go beyond the relative world and let go of needing to be right, we experience the Unity of all things and learn to love and accept as God does.