Decades ago, when I crawled into Al-Anon, I first heard the saying, “would you rather be right or happy?”
I have known that I “should” choose happy for all these decades, and I have tried to choose happy for all these decades.
But I can still get so caught in wanting to be right.
Wanting to be right as in the terror I was taught as a child, knowing that if I chose the wrong thing or took a wrong action (or thought a wrong thought or felt a wrong feeling), I would be breaking god’s heart. I think if I had been told that I would (only) burn in hell for my wrongness, that might have been easier. But who can hold the weight of breaking god’s heart?
I am working hard on letting go of those hang-ups about right and wrong.
But there is also wanting to be right as in I’m right and therefore you’re wrong. Or the only way for me to be right is for you to be wrong. I think this is tied to wanting to be right as in the terror, because if I’m right (and you’re wrong), then I haven’t done or thought or felt the Wrong (with a capital W) thing…that will break god’s heart.
But probably it’s also just that it feels better to be right than wrong.
But it also feels best to just be happy and to not need to be right. It feels better not to care at all which of us is right or wrong and to…just…let…things…be.
So, I’m working, day by day and moment by moment at times, to not need to be right any more. To not want to be right any more.
It can be one of those confusing grooves or slippery slopes in my head. I am often trying hard to convince you of my rightness because I somehow think that’s me working to be my best self. I do try to be my best self. And I do believe it’s good to want to be my best self. But often, as with my perfection and overdrive, it’s just me doing my controlling, perfectionistic, terror of breaking god’s heart and letting the messiah down thing.
So, day by day and moment by moment at times, I don’t want to be right.
(And I think I’m right about this.)
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!
Photo by Brooke Cagle on unsplash