Better to be right - or be loving?
I have a friend who keeps churning out wise sayings –
then so often doesn’t put them into practice. It’s as if she says,
“You must always walk your talk” and then never does!
It’s like the old cliché from my parents, “Do as I say, not
as I do.”
One such phrase is often said in the form of a question,
“Would you rather be right, or rather be loving?” and
various permutations thereof. The person is implying it
is best to be loving, then demonstrates anything but! Well
if you were intending to be loving, you wouldn’t be pointing
out to someone you felt they were wrong, would you?
Of course I may not be right about that !J
Another friend often puts that question as a statement,
“It is always better to be compassionate than right” then each
time I send an e-mail sharing a feeling, disclosing a
vulnerable part of me, just making a comment, back comes
a righteous reply – analysing what I’d said, lecturing, trying to make me wrong and her right – it seems she just always has to have a "right" of reply, the last word, to comment on what has been said but somehow make a righteous teaching out of it whilst throwing in, for good measure, another phrase, “This is like grandmother teaching you to suck eggs!” Well if you know that, don’t do it! Absolutely no practising of being loving over being right. No heart, just ego.
Now, we all like to be right, or so I’m told. And there certainly was a time in my earlier years when I hated to be wrong – school drummed that into me. Be wrong at school and you were lectured at, humiliated in front of other pupils by being sent to the dunce’s corner, or belted – that is, you held out your hand whilst teacher literally belted it with a belt made for said purpose. So, as children, we were indoctrinated into how important it was to “always be right” that failure wasn’t an option - and yet we learn not so much from our successes as our failures. And we were never taught about Love in school. That was probably considered too sexual. (In case you think I am in a time warp here, let’s get things right, I’m talking 1953 – 1965!)
Being right brings with it a sense of satisfaction and gratification, or even sometimes smugness which is why it is often of the ego. Not of the heart. Our egos feel validated, which is great if we want to keep having ego high hits but not if you want to live life from your Higher Self, from your Loving heart. If you want to do the latter, you have got to totally give up any desire to shout out how right you think you are. A firm decision, backed up with commitment, to stop the desire to be right is needed. Or you may need some therapy to stop it.
I once knew two family members who did not speak to each other for over 30 years because they each held to the view that their interpretation of a family dispute was right. Neither were in good health in their later years. Holding on to bitterness, anger, resentment, grudges, to any form of righteousness, metaphysically, is a trigger for ill-health such as cancers, arthritis, inflammation and so on.
There is a direct correlation between feeling this constant need to be right and ill-health.
And one of the areas where our medical paradigm could well do with a change is to cease to see doctors as always right and knowing best. Service users can become so better informed these days. In two areas specifically – Diabetes Type II and Lung Cancer - I grew a vast body of knowledge, sufficient to know that when medical professionals were insisting they were always right and knew best, I knew their information to be vastly outdated. Sometime we do know what is currently right, how we share that from the heart is the key.
So, next time you are defending your position, feeling righteous, making someone out as if they don’t know or are wrong, stop and ask yourself, “How must this feel to this person? Right now, would I rather be right or be loving? How would it be if I chose to say nothing?”
The other in your life at the point when you are sounding off probably, simply, wants just to be understood and loved, not told off.
And in your righteousness, you too probably just want to be loved and understood but your engaging in justification or explanation will only make matters worse and probably push you even further away from others.
When we desire to be loving, instead of being right, we step into authenticity, take off the masks. In doing so, we offer the other(s) a loving space into which they can step and also be real.
Step One Assessment
Be open to identifying areas in your life where you are attached to being right. You may already know.
Be open to identifying your pattern of always responding to people from the “I am right” position – it will be emphatic, probably with finger wagging or scowled eyes, voice tone will be reprimanding and dictatorial, your behaviour is likely to be one of cutting across people and interrupting or never giving them space to speak. But this will confirm your position of needing to be right.
Identify where you hold grudges and resentments – what they are and with whom. That will indicate it is possible for you to develop a tendency to want to be right.
Notice how you give your energy and power away by waiting for others to be able to read you and see things from your perspective. (Inside you’ll be itching with “what about me?” another indication of needing to be seen and to be right.)
Where do you feel wronged – and what is it really that you are obsessing about? Probably not the facts – more likely lack of attention as you would wish it.
Notice what happens when you try to “teach people” you are right – you push them away, sometimes for good. No one needs that kind of energy in their face.
How are you blocking love from your life by your ego’s desire to prove something?
Step Two Switch to Love
Make a decision that you will no longer default to the “I know best” or “I am right” position.
Instead, choose peace. Choose healing. Choose freedom. Choose Love.
When you notice someone on their high horse, someone in pain or sorrow, someone holding on to old stuff, to anger and resentment, choose it as a call from the person for Love – and a call to you to express a Loving thought or if that is not possible, think Loving thoughts and psychically send them the way of the other.
Notice how in time your health heals. Not so inflamed, anxious and torn. Calmer, gentler, more at peace – and when you are there, the body can heal.
You will still lovingly need be clear about your personal boundaries so that people don’t walk all over you – but from the “I” perspective – not the “you idiot, you are wrong” position.
Once you express yourself, let it go. Give upon the need to push your point home. When you do you push people away.
But when you stop caring whether anyone else understands or even cares about your point of view, you will understand yourself and others even more.
Give up on the need to hear the other acknowledge you are right. State your point and let it be received. Give others a break. Let them off the hook – even if you think they did wrong. And even if they were wrong.
Practise forgiveness. When you fall out of love with being righteous you can fall in love with forgiveness. Louise L Hay reminds us that in any moment we are all doing the best we can with the knowledge, awareness, experience that we have up to that point. Even the people you judged as wrong are doing the best they can. And in lecturing them, so too were you. It’s a habit we can get into.
Now that you know differently, you can choose to do and be different. You weren’t born critical, needing to be right. It was something you learned at an early age.
When you unlearn and learn anew, when you give up your position, your soapbox, your need to be right, you create space - possibilities for miracles, for Loving action. You experience freedom and so do the others involved. You give it up not just for you, but for the greater good.
And in that, you CAN be right.
Stop It Therapy