Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Choosing love over fear
Updated: Apr 27, 2021
I recently read this question in the book “A Return to Love”. And even though I had heard/read it before, this time it actually clicked.
Before I always thought that it is my right to be right. That I need to stand up, even fight for what is right to me. That I need to make myself heard, that I need to make the other person understand where I´m coming from. This way making the other person agree with me, confirm that I am right. That being right means standing up for myself, not letting other people step on me.
But what does being right serve you if it makes you angry? What does being right serve you if it causes you internal turmoil? What does being right serve you if you leave the situation feeling unhappy (no matter if you ‘won’ or ‘lost’ the argument)?
Sometimes being right and being happy are the same. But often these two are mutually exclusive.
Being right is the way of the ego. The ego needs to be right; it feels entitled to be right. It is its way of existing. The ego exists based on fear and lack. It perceives situations and other people as threats to its own existence. The ego seeks to defend itself, therefore it is essential for it to be right.
Do you remember a situation where you felt the strong need to defend your point of view? Where you felt the need to be right? Where it seemed that the other party didn’t get your arguments? Where two egos were fighting? Where in the end of the discussion a lot of anger had built up? Where even though you ‘won’ you didn’t feel happy?
Think of a situation now where being righteous caused yourself harm. Where it made you angry.
I for myself can think of many such situations. And when I look back at them, it feels as though I had no choice. That I needed to defend myself, otherwise people would step on me. That I needed to win this argument, otherwise I would not be seen.
What´s your impression of yourself in that situation looking back now?
What I didn’t realised back then is that I have a choice. The choice to (re-)act differently.
In the end it is a choice between fear and love, between being right and being happy.
Do you choose fear or love? Do you choose to be right or to be happy?
When reading the question ‘Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?’ in ‘A Return to Love’ it finally clicked: Nothing is lost when the ego isn’t right.
Once you understand that not being right, doesn’t diminish your stance in this world, it gives you a whole other set of ways to act:
You have the choice now to act out of love and compassion. You have the choice to let situations go by choosing equanimity and softness instead of rigidity and hardness. You have the choice to forgive instead of hold anger and grudges. You have the choice to be happy instead of right.
Choosing happiness over being right means choosing love over fear. Do you want to live your life based on fear or based on love?
Fear is the way of the ego. Love is your true innate nature. Choose love – always. As there is nothing to be lost here. Choosing to act out of love will transform situations. It doesn’t mean you are not standing up for yourself, it actually means the opposite. It means that you are letting your true innate nature (love) guide you. Your true innate nature can not be diminished, it can not be destroyed.
You are not losing anything when acting with love, compassion and kindness. You are actually ‘winning’ happiness. You are choosing your happiness.
What is your experience? Let me know in the comments.
I have also recorded a meditation on this topic, you can find it on Insight Timer and on my YouTube channel.
You might also be interested on this blog post: Habituated reaction: Anger, rage, hatred