Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Releasing the Need to be Right

You’re on a spiritual journey. You can’t mess it up.
-Janet Tuck

Most of you know that I’m highly intuitive. When I work with someone, “seeing” information on their behalf, I just love it when they call me later declaring, “You know that thing you told me? You were RIGHT about that!” I love it when that happens.

But my need to be right is also a major stumbling block. My need to be right disconnects me from others and from myself. It goes straight to my need to control every aspect of my life and when I’m there, in control overdrive, there is no growth or joy happening.

This goes for both small issues and the larger ones. Fear of being wrong keeps me stuck. So I become vigilant about being right. And what I am coming to believe is this: none of it matters. Being right doesn’t, getting it right doesn’t, doing it right doesn’t. What does matter is being kind to myself and to others and the rest of it just does not matter.

Not long ago a friend was going through a divorce. Originally from North Carolina, she’d lived in California for 20 years and was seeking employment back east so she could be near her family. She’d been offered a position in Virginia, a comfortable drive from her family but was wrestling with the decision, wondering if she could find something closer, wanting to make the right choice. I can imagine her making lists of potential issues, hoping to anticipate them and prevent them from happening. I shared with her the idea that she’s on a spiritual journey and she couldn’t really mess it up. She found tremendous relief in that idea. And she made the move to Virginia. We have the power to allow our lives to unfold in an easier manner, when we end trying to figure everything out perfectly.

This ability to step back and look at the bigger picture can be a great relief. We get so caught up in trying to figure out every eventuality, anticipate what may happen, always do the right thing, spend time striving and striving and striving to be right, that we forget. We forget that we don’t really have all that control over much of anything.

I think if I can just get it right…and it is really just another way I am seeking to control things. I really love to do this with relationships. If I have a misunderstanding with someone, my go-to frame of mind is wanting to get in there and convince them of my perspective. I am the Queen of the mind conversation. I’ll roll out point after point, making my case. And there is no listening involved here. I am hugging close my own need to be right and fantasizing about how I can get the other person to do, be, or think a certain way so that I can be comfortable. It is all me, me, me. When I insist on being right, love has no space.

The thing is, though, that if I’m on a spiritual journey, so is the other person involved here. And I don’t know what their journey is about. And it’s none of my business. If they are on a spiritual journey, it’s not my job to “get them” to do, be, or think anything, no matter how “right” I think I am.

A couple of years ago I was talking with someone I know about the wonders of EMDR therapy. (And if you don’t know about it and have had any kind of trauma, please check it out: The woman I was speaking with had done EMDR therapy, with good results. I said something about my eyes moving during the therapy and she declared that her eyes hadn’t moved. To which I replied, “Well, they had to because that is how it works.” She very calmly noted that her eyes hadn’t moved and that was the end of the conversation.

Only it wasn’t. Not in my head. Being the Queen of mind conversation, I continued where we’d left off, noting that the E and the M in EMDR stand for EYE MOVEMENT! Her eyes HAD to be moving. I just knew I was right.

And then, I was sick of myself. What difference did it make? She’d had the therapy and found it helpful. I’d done it and it had transformed me. Why was I making such a big deal out of it? It didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if I’m right or not. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Only kindness matters. Kindness to myself, kindness toward others.

Being right doesn’t make me a better person, smarter, safer, kinder, or more effective. And my need to be right makes me none of those things.
Giving up the need to be right frees me to be present for my life. It frees me to listen. It frees me to understand and enjoy others, to share their experience, and beauty, and spiritual growth. They can’t be vulnerable with me to share that if I need to be right. My need to be right shuts down all that shining connection.

Deepak Chopra says that “everyone’s spiritual path is perfect.” Wherever a person is, whatever they are feeling, thinking, or experiencing is just as it should be in that moment. I don’t need to straighten anyone out or prove how right I am. All I need do is make room for them and for their experience.
If I don’t like what they are bringing to the table, I have the power to choose whether or not I expose myself to it. But I don’t need to show them or explain to them how right I am. My true “rightness” comes from showing up for my own experience: for the joy, peace, pain, sorrow, or even my own need to be right. Then I’m free to explore what it’s really about, this need to be right, and to release it.

The deep release of “rightness” makes room for what is. It is a deep surrender to truth. The truth of who you are. And it makes room for the fullness of others. This surrender allows for your fullness and all the accompanying hopes and dreams to rush in. It welcomes abundance, because you, at your core, are pure abundance. That is what happens when we release our need to be “right” and welcome who we are.

© 2014 Janet Tuck

1 comment:

  1. "When I insist on being right, love has no space."
    Ouch! I think you hit a nerve there; a nerve that can only be soothed by letting love be right.