I can still remember the moment in a self help retreat when I realized that I was incredibly attached to being right. I felt as though I’d finally been able to see some incredible gem that hadn’t been available before. That was about as far as I went with it at the time.
Looking back, being right was so innate I didn’t realize it was a strategy for me to stay safe. I would often stay silent to avoid any possibility of not being right. I would only do things that I knew I could succeed at doing. I watched others until I felt I knew enough to be somewhat successful before trying anything new.
What I didn’t know about that incredible insight then or for many years after was that there was a much deeper aspect that has been running that particular part of me and how I lived my life.
I had equated my sense of worth and value with being right. Being right meant that I had value. I had worth. I deserved to have what I longed for. I thought.
If I was wrong I was useless. Unworthy. Bad. Undeserving.
This was far from being conscious knowledge. This was running in my survival strategy tool box. My unconscious mind had somehow discerned early in my life that my self value was derived from being good and right. Anything less than that meant I didn’t matter, was unloveable and had no value.
In the midst of it, I did not have access to this knowledge.
I pretended that I had value and a sense of self to be right. I pretended to always be right because without that I had no sense of value inside of me. I didn’t deserve to even be alive at some level.
I had lost connection with my internal sense of worth and deserving very early in my life. The part of me that is perfect, loving and has value regardless of anything else around me.
Needing to be right made it impossible for me to be in a healthy relationship. I had no way of dealing with conflict in a healthy way. I avoided conflict at all costs and have paid the price over the years.
How do I know this? What has changed? Recently I found myself in the midst of a huge conflict with my ex-husband. This time I was actually able to acknowledge my own part of what had contributed to the difficulty.
I actually felt better instead of worse this time. I wasn’t bad because of the event. I did something that wasn’t completely respectful or open. And that doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. It means I could have done it much better and will do so next time. It’s okay for me to make a mistake and to even admit it.
This is a new one for me. It’s okay for me to make a mistake. Own it. And I’m still loveable, valuable and worthy. I like this new place of being. A lot!
Needing to be right comes from an inner place that doesn’t know that your value is independent of being right or wrong, good or bad.
When we equate our value and worth with being right and winning, we end up being the losers. Power struggles ensue like what we are witnessing all over the world today. We have forgotten that our inner value is independent of winning or being right.
How do we reset this in our world today? How do we remind each other that our individual inner value is innate? How do we remember our inner perfection? Regardless of nation, colour, class, income or race.
It begins with us. You. Me. One at a time. Remembering. Practicing. In a safe place.
Living Love Fiercely Circles is a great place to start.