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Only when I’m about to be in trouble for a mistake I’ve made. I’ve been trying to realize we are all human therefore not perfect and it is ok to make mistakes!
Lying to be perceived either as factually correct or as morally superior – two interpretations of the word “right” – has dominated my life since I was a kid. I’m trying to change that lately in a few ways. A) Consider the historical evidence. Hindsight has shown me that my entire record in both endeavors is against me. B) Remember, “Who the —- are you anyway, Mike? Can’t you afford to put yourself away a while on behalf of others?” C) Enjoy the release that comes when I allow myself to say, “I don’t know;” “I was wrong;” “I have sinned;” “Please forgive me;” “Can you help?”
Someone wise said: do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Sometimes it’s right to keep your mouth shut and not speak your truth. And there are times when it is a kindness to avoid being truthful. In general though I find being truthful and being right are pretty well aligned for me. But thankfully I’m only right some of the time: life would be dull otherwise.
I like this point. I learned from my family that “the truth” can be used as a bludgeon. At the height of throwing aspersions and accusations at each other, they would often top their gambits with the statement, “I’m just telling the truth,” practically spitting the last word out of their mouths as if they were firing a gun, lying about their intentions while marshaling their facts. Reflecting on this, I’ve decided that the Biblical standard is not “the truth,” but rather “the truth in love.” – I also like the use of the phrase “your truth.” It emphasizes that the best we can do is to be as faithful and loving as we can with the little-T truths we perceive today, the few chips off the old block of the timeless, capital-T Truth that governs the universe.
Yes weaponised truth is sadly out there.
I don’t think so. I’m pretty good about changing my mind or at least questioning my point of view when other people present sound, valid evidence or reasons that contradict my own point of view.
No, because trying to prove I’m right isn’t important to me. As long as I know the truth then I shouldn’t have to prove that to anyone it isn’t worth my peace and energy. I’m a pretty honest person, sometimes event too blunt so I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong.
Wanting to be right and what is right are very different things and there lies the work. Knowing the difference and considering the other-centered bigger picture… running it through the filters of “Is it kind? Is it helpful? Is it good?” and then finally filtering through my personal integrity filter of, “Is it a compromise or a conviction that I can make and my soul will rest well with it because it has served the greater good and individuals involved? Can I sleep in my head knowing this was my contribution?”
I feel wanting to be right is about control. These days, I prefer to focus on what is (for me) and just let others be.
Wanting to be right doesn’t usually keep me from being truthful but it does invoke the desire to be perhaps overly persuasive. I need to pause and determine if this is because I just want to be right or is it because I sense a sense of justice that has been violated. The perspective of others is as valuable as my own, sometimes it colours my perspective to a slightly different shade with more understanding.
probably because I’m afraid I’d be found out. 🙂
It does, because when I want to be right I lower my capacity to listen, and that’s when I’m most truthful.
I need to listen more and not jump in with my opinions so fast! Listen with patience and an open heart.
Wanting to be right
gets in the way
of my truest and best self,
from being in balance and
shift that —
Oh gads, its amazing what pops out of my mouth in a discussion, without even thinking!!!
So to change that I need to slow down, breath and think – if I can do that then I am hoping this weird habit won’t occur.
I used to tell my mother who insisted she was always right, “if you are always right something is wrong”. I heard that somewhere and used it on her when she was inflexible. Wanting to be right prevents open mindedness. I can be guilty of that for sure. Truthfulness is something deeper. It has to do with motives, feelings, assumptions. It is a more vulnerable attitude. It exposes what could be rejected and can even be false. Like holding one to something that was once true but has changed. So keeping an open mind could help especially when some new learning is available or relearning or correction. We can learn if we are willing to change. I see that as true but that does not make me right. Thinking I’m right can be a cover up for insecure beliefs that could be examined if out in the open. So again being vulnerable, taking a change of being wrong leaves room for growth.
When I was about four I learned how to write my name, and I wrote it large in red crayon on the walls of our home in several rooms. LARGE. My dad came to me and asked me gently if I was the one who’d written my name shakily everywhere in red crayon, and I said, “nooooo?” He said, “I think you did.” I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how he knew it was me who did that. I pondered it for hours, days… my first big “think.” And it rather spoiled my ability to lie. I thought everyone could read my mind anyway, so what’s the use?
But even though truthful, and though I can comfortably admit when I don’t know something or when I am wrong, I still have “the sin” of taking pride in being right, and that pride sometimes overshadowing being kind, gentle, or wise. I would like to work on this.
To change this, I need to understand why I am not so comfortable in what I know, that I need pride as a crutch. This will require another “big think.”
Cause: I still seem to crave external validation.
I’m with you on this one, Holly. Sometimes I feel like I’ve “come so far” & yet I still respond to the external validations (positive & negative.) So much work to do…..
I am blunt and direct and have no problem saying I am wrong and wearing my shortcomings on my sleeve. My humor is usually directed towards making fun of myself and my shortcomings. My friends and family often find it comical how I make jokes about myself. However, I tend to express my views about life quite a bit and I need to stop this as my views and my way of thinking that are right for me, may not be right for someone else. I realize that while I speak so passionately about my beliefs and views others are probably just listening politely and not really caring as they believe equally strongly in their own views. I am more mindful of this now and try not to say much at all and let others share their own beliefs instead of me projecting mine.
Sometimes i think I just wanted others to think I was right instead of being truthful and honest. I was fearful of being wrong, or saying the wrong thing, or being the wrong one. Choose me, choose me, I’m worthy. I now know its’ not important to be right. It is more important to be true to yourself and do what is only right for you, not what’s best for anyone else.
Chiming in with Mike S. I find I exaggerate. It’s not an intentional lie to cover up or deflect. There’s a kernel of truth to my defense or story. But to make it sound even more authentic (which is ironic), or in order to eclipse the other, I will add to, or change the facts. I’m aware of this – sometimes as it’s coming out of my mouth. For this reason, I’m trying to resist even getting in these situations of feeling defensive.
The I CHING has a line which says “You are so terrified of being wrong, you leave no room for learning what is right.”How to change that? By knowing and realizing how deep down in the western culture Shame and Fear of non-acceptance is embedded everywhere. It is in family, Religious teachings, “new age teaching” formal education, media, etc etc ….so that it is ……as the ancient wisdom says …..”there is no room left for learning what is right”.
Only an enormous cultural shift will change that conditioning and it is happening now, rather painfully, ( covid-19, Trump-ism, Putan-ism ) but it is coming!
Shakespeare said it well…”Nothing is ever right or wrong but thinking makes it so.” He cleverly points out that “thinking” and Truth are two totally different modes of mind. Truth does not require thinking at all.
Love this! It reminds me of a term we use in 12-step circles: “Stinking Thinking!”
Yes the 12-step system is proof of the power of the “circle” system, used to re-gain “Self-Realization, and proof of the Power of Divine Grace in each Human Being. It is so sad that the power of shame still wins out over what MUST to taught in every method of, human sharing,….. counter to all the preachings done by experts standing up in the front of big audience, media screens etc ……but now I feel I am preaching and the “stinky ones” want to join me and deflect what I am trying to say so they wont be weakened ….. so I say no more
Be Well Be Present
Thanks, Ed. You always give me food for thought ( not stinky) and sincere reflection.
Love this Ed. Thank you!
Very apt name for the subject at hand! So to suggest an addition to your journy…..
In the very early SUFI systems they worked in small circles ( 10 12) and used group meditations based on sounds. ( which of course vibrations) For example they knew that what is called “Truth” in the english language was best expressed by the archetypal sound “HU” . ( similar to what is called a “mantra” )
This is sounded from out of the deep chest area, up through the tryroid, throat, and out though a relaxed open mouth ….causing that whole area to reverberate in a gentle but powerful tone. All which still breathing air in and out. It is important that the breathing continues because relaxation in all areas on the body is very important. ( iow don’t let the “stinky ones” come in and play) …
The sounding of HU goes on for very long time ….so to make this point
You can try this yourself if you wish, it is completely safe and harmless…..once use get the sense of it you can do it silently where ever you might be ……only please don’t do it while driving a car or other activity which requires physical concentration.
DOES WANTING TO BE RIGHT KEEP ME FROM BEING TRUTHFUL? IF SO HOW MIGHT YOU CHANGE THAT.
This is a GREAT question especially for someone who is on a SELF DISCOVERY JOURNEY. My teen days were not fun for my parents, I went through the phase of running away several times and making my family wonder where I was. I felt misunderstood and isolated from my family. My partner’s mom allowed us to do whatever we wanted to it was an easy choice to stay there. At the time you can ask anyone I BELIEVED EVERYONE WAS AGAINST ME BUT MY PARTNERS. Because I believed that, that was my reality. My parents and I could. not communicate properly and would say hurtful things to each others.
Fast forward about 12years ago. I wanted to always be RIGHT!! Everything he did to me I projected it to the people I was around.
TODAY I am able to realize that it WASN’T everyone against me; I WAS AGAINST MYSELF staying with a partner who took advantage of me. I now stand in the middle of all situations because of a NEW BELIEF I have found. NO ONE IS RIGHT OR WRONG, THEY SPEAK FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE AND CHILDHOOD IMPRINTS. I have researched the mind and how energetic/ vibrational patterns create imprints that shape into your belief and reality. I am becoming more aware of my thoughts.
With my past partner (teenager) I was running away from the truth, I blamed everyone but the person who was ACTUALLY hurting me. Today I sit back and attempt to understand where the person is coming from. This has impacted me because I am no longer having to prove myself , I “express” my thoughts respectfully and fully comprehend how our minds works. We are robots from our imprinted experience as a child.
I’m not talking about outright Lang right now, what more exaggeration. I find sometimes in discussions with others or in the heat of an argument I can exaggerate the situation unknowingly, and then shortly after I recognize what I did and I feel bad. In my case I think it’s a matter of feeling insecure in a particular situation I just need him to feel that I’m OK. It seems a solution is it just really slow down and think a lot pause a lot before speaking. Truthful speech is really important.
I’ve chosen to be untruthful when I’m scared & don’t want to “get in trouble.” I know how to change the behavior. I need to practice courage & integrity which are super important to me. I need to hold myself accountable for all my decisions in a loving way. No cop-outs!!
For me, another question must come before the “wanting to be right” question. How do I know if my answer, response or assertion to a particular question or situation is, first of all, correct or accurate to begin with? Previous experience, and knowing myself, has taught me that it’s best to gather my facts first, then listen to others and not be among the first to speak on the matter before me. When I am able to do that, my response is usually more accurate and truthful.
As to the “wanting to be right” question, all I need to do is bounce the whole thing off of my wife. She, like nobody else, will let me know what is and is not truthful! Honest.
Many times when I feel like I have to speak. It’s best to listen first and most of the time, I’m glad I made that choice.
No. I’m an honest person, sometimes even blunt. I can admit when I am wrong. Communication is everything.
I am encumbered by a tendency to not rock the boat generally. So speaking untold truths, out-of-hand, is never something that appears as a good strategy. This can and has resulted in certain assumptions being perpetuated that are not necessarily upheld by underlying facts, resulting in seemingly minor conspiracies. However the impact overall contributes to an uneasiness within myself. A sense of being what I refer to as ‘out of integrity’. When I sense this feeling, I prowl about for the source(s) and make corrections, often resulting in some admission or action disadvantageous to myself. Over the years I have become more careful to be genuine and authentic, to remain open-minded, making all kinds of allowances for other people. Some would say vulnerable to being taken advantage of. I would not argue with that. I have come to learn that this vulnerability is what allows life to become vivid and vital.
That feeling of wanting to be right brings to mind a question that I have learned from the Zen master Thay is to ask : Are you sure? I find that asking my self this often helps to let go of a lot of the distractions of right and wrong thinking.
I don’t want to be right I want to make make right choices and be able to discern wholesome and unwholesome was of being. So it’s not about being right. I am grateful for letting being right go.
Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield says in all situations ask yourself, “What do I know for sure?” I find that question very helpful. Honesty with self is the seed of integrity. My mentor always told me, “We are here to “integrate” our insides and our outsides.” We have to learn to drop our masks and let others in. In religious terminology, I’ve read that to be incarnate is to be vulnerable. A dear friend always says, “Bring your concerns to the foot of the cross.” To grow in awareness, I’ve learned that I must be wiling to live the Pascal Mystery of birth, death and resurrection over and over.
Love this Antoinette. Thank you!
I don’t care about being right anymore. I definitely used to, but it’s not important, and what’s right to me is not necessarily right to another. When I began my healing process, someone asked me if I would rather be right or happy. At the time, I wanted both. Now I just want to be happy 🙂
I love this Sunny, thank you.
Love your response here! Thank you.
Yes. When being able to stay open to the very moment, truth rather appears than is constructed through inner split between right and wrong. So to stay open, be still and in this inner perspective, to compassionately observe might help to change that.
Ose , how lovely! Compassionately observe. Hugs 🤗
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