Simple truths – Do you choose to be happy or right ?
Here is a simple truth I learnt many years ago; in any relationship one can be happy or one can be right, you can’t be both. It’s a choice you have to make because relationships demand that such a choice be made.
So then are all relationships a series of well accepted compromises? Call it what you want but compromise is really not a bad word in a relationship and the more you grow to accept it the happier you shall be.
Think about it. If you make a choice in your relationship to be simply happy then being ‘right’ (about anything) with the other is of little consequence. The belief that your spouse or significant other continues to hold is immaterial. In reality you know the truth and you choose to let go. You are happy while they believe they are right (often ridiculously so).
But should you choose to be right then you forfeit your option to be happy. Now you cling on to the thoughts and beliefs in your head. You are convinced that your way is the only way and there is no room for the opinions of others. You won the battle with your argument and clever words, you made your point but you know you lost the war. You are now ‘right’ but sadly left feeling all wrong. Your partner may have conceded but you know you have ended up in a hopelessly unhappy situation around you.
So what’s the problem? The truth be told, some of us always choose to be right in a relationship because we just can’t let go of our ego. In doing so we choose to be right over happy and the rest of the day is lost in miserable remorse (if one is capable of admitting even that to one’s self).
Trees sway and bend for a reason, if they don’t they will crack and break in the face of gusty winds. Nature teaches us that trees are meant to grow strong and tall but even a tree sways and bends when it must. Yet as humans we have an aversion to making room in our belief system especially with the ones closest to us.
Ironically we have no qualms when we are forced to lump with disgust the opinions of co- workers in the work place but won’t show even a fraction of that tolerance with those we love. We have higher standards of tolerance for strangers and those inconsequential to our lives than the one closest to us for whom we should be willing to bend right to the ground.
We always want to be right with the ones we love, hurting them in the bargain while we please complete strangers who should not even be given the time of day. If you must bend to please someone let it be the ones who always bend to accommodate you every day; friends and family who live every moment of their life to see you happy and right.
Relationships are tough and need to be worked on a daily basis. If not they wither and die or like unclaimed baggage continue to rotate aimlessly on an airport conveyor belt going round in circles and hoping it will be picked up.
Working on a relationship means that you constantly revisit those close to you. Perhaps they now know your modus operandi. They know your preference to be right and so they live in their ‘happy’ world when it comes to you. Fools often live in their paradise and wake up when they have to pay the rent.
Fr Warner D’Souza