Learning to let go of the need to be right (Part 2)

I had two friends over for New Year’s Eve.  A couple. I have known the man for well over 40 years. He has been with his partner for over 10 years. Needless to say, there is a lot of history. I find that the woman has some rather strong opinions. Opinions about life. About her world view. About sexuality. About her spiritual connection to life. Also about how she sees others in relationship to those views. The conversation between us got a bit intense. She started using certain words that caused me to get triggered. Instead of just talking about herself and her experiences, it felt like she was projecting her views on me. Her rightness about life. It felt like I was being told what the “right point of view” was in a given situation and the “wrongness” of my point of view.  In the men’s group I belong to, there are several rules of etiquette. Never use the “you” word. Only talk about yourself. And never offer advise unless asked for. She did both. I got triggered. Needless to say in that moment things got uncomfortable. The encounter left me feeling uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because of being imposed on. More uncomfortable because I got triggered. In retrospect all I had to say was, “that sounds interesting. It’s not something that resonates with me” or “let me think about it”. She would have felt heard. The whole encounter would have ended without any tension. So I am left with feeling into why I got triggered. Why I needed to be right in that moment. What was my vested interest in her views about her own life? What would I have gained being right? Why did I feel the need to defend how I live my life? Writing about the encounter now, it all seems somewhat insignificant.

So, the real questions are: Why do I need to feel right? What is my investment in being right? And more importantly, how freeing might it be if I completely let go of the need to be right. This blog is about my exploration of letting go of my need to be right.

The first question that comes to mind is, right about what? There is a difference between being right about what time something starts. A TV show or event. How much something costs. Or a fact of science. All those things have an absolute nature to them. They are not open to interpretation. What I’m talking about is being right about the ideas we embody. That help define who we are. What we believe to be true. The ideas we create our lives around. The ideas that our personal identity is built on. Ideas of religion. Politics. Sexual identity. Our eating lifestyle. Money. Our views of others. Even things like love. Being loving. Being authentic. Everything we identify with that defines who we are. Why is this even important? So, this blog post is all about my exploration of letting go of my need to be right.

I used to think that if I “did all the right things” I would be in front of the line. What line am I talking about? The proverbial line of life. Also, the line you might find yourself in when you die. I don’t really believe in heaven or hell. Or even a line. But I think you know what I mean. Maybe the line we find ourselves in at the end of life, “the gates of heaven”. A line based on accumulated karma. I don’ t really know. Not important. But if I had the right beliefs, lived the right life, I would be more deserving. In retrospect that is a bit messed up. I am in no way special. That way of looking at life makes me no different than anyone else thinking they are for whatever reason special.

What does it mean to let go of the need to be right? Right about what? As I continue to explore this subject, I realize there are many levels to letting go of the need to be right.

I think fundamentally it is about seeing life thought innocent eyes. Trying to limit any preconceived notions about life itself. Race, religion, politics, sexual orientation, diet, what someone else should believe. Also letting go of expectations. Those are just some of the big ones. What would my life look like if I let go of all my preconceived notions and lived life more from the present moment. How my life arises in each moment.

That doesn’t mean I will stand for injustice, cruelty, just meanness or stupidity.

Letting go of the need to be right allows me to identify with the deeper truth of who I am. It is my experience that life, creation arises from a single point. The mind imposes the perception of duality in order to create tension. A tension that is there to help us feel the need to get back to feeling the wholeness of all things. Oneness. Feeling the single source of creation. The origin of all creation. I am finding as I let go of the need to be right, of all the things I have identified with, my life begins to arise in a more organic way. My life begins to unfold in a way to support the deepest expression of who I am. Not perfectly. Not immune from challenges. At the end of the day we all have to “chop wood and carry water”. I am just beginning to relax into the natural interaction between life and how I bring forth my unique expression. I am trusting that as I deepen my connection to the mystery that lives each one of us, the illumination and grace that I experience will help ignite the deepest expression of who I am.

I am sure there is more to say. But for now this feels complete.

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