The need to be right

Do we need to be right, or do we need to forgive?

The need to be right can hold us in a state of paralysis – this barrier set up by a hurt, wounded ego can prevent us from taking the steps we need to open our hearts, forgive, and let go. Recently I was hurt. And I held on tight to this wounded part of me. She screamed out to be heard, to be condoled, and to be validated. Oh the injustice! I was wronged, can’t you see? But the more she dug her heels in, the further away from forgiveness I found myself. And, what for, really? Because when we withhold forgiveness, the only one who suffers is our self!

As I was full-on in victim-mode, I was further frustrated by the fact that I was so deeply affected. Wasn’t I above such “negative” emotions? How could this get to me so much? How could this incite so much hurt within me? Couldn’t I just “rise above” the whole thing? But I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready to let go. And let’s face it – I’m human! Sometimes that sensitive, wounded part of us gets triggered by something totally unrelated to what caused that initial wound. It needs to sting. It needs to smoulder for a bit.

People hurt us, they do. They always will, knowingly or unknowingly. It’s hard when they are someone close to us, someone who we trust and treasure in our lives. These wounds especially sting. If you hurt, hurt. Be hurt. If you need to go into victim mode for a period, then go. Wallow. Feel angry. Feel sorry for yourself. But then get over it. Most times our hurts become clouded by the need to be right because we feel so powerless in our wounded state. So if the need to be right is standing in the way of you forgiving and letting go, maybe that’s worth investigating. As long as we cling to the need to be right, our hearts can never fully open.

One final thing. Don’t mistake forgiveness for condoning someone’s actions, or that somehow you are “giving in.” Your hurt is likely very justified. And forgiving doesn’t mean you walk arm and arm down the street like old times and then the credits roll. It means you release the other into love. The form your relationship takes after that may be the same, or it may be different – but that’s for you to decide. You get to set the boundaries that feel okay. But you don’t need to hold yourself in purgatory for longer than is necessary for you to process and then release.

Got any old hurts? Ask yourself – how much of this is about your need to be right? If we can drop this insistence, we may be surprised at the love that finds us when we open our hearts and forgive.


“Thai” Hummus for Peace

This little ditty was inspired by a chickpea chutney made by my dear friend’s mom and a recipe for a cashew sauce I came across. If you are looking a variation on the old tried and true, give this a whirl (so-to-speak). A big bowl of  hummus with some pita wedges makes an excellent peace offering!

1 cup of chickpeas (cooked or canned)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 clove of garlic

1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp salt (less if using canned chickpeas with salt in them)

1/2  jalapeno (green) chili pepper, finally chopped (seeds removed for less spice)

juice of 1/2 a lime

Whirl together in your food processor until smooth. Serve sprinkled with dried coconut. Then, “dip” in!


4 thoughts on “The need to be right

  1. re: “The Need To Be Right”–I’ve been there, this thing about needing to be right. I got some help one day (while in the midst of one of my need-to-be-right episodes).I was told, don’t always try to be right. Try to be on the side of right. However that may fall.

  2. It is great to see others with the same thoughts as me. I, myself, have come to realize that you can forgive someone without them apologizing. That forgiveness helps you move on and get some sort of closure. It is not an obvious conclusion, even knowing it now.

    My view on apologies are that they are not necessary for forgiveness, you can, and *should*, forgive people if you can, regardless of whether they apologize. However, an apology offered indicates mutual respect and a desire to repair any damage done by whatever is being apologized for.

    That said, we all have to decide what we can and can’t forgive. I can forgive most things without an apology, but continued friendship requires an apology in addition to forgiveness. I cannot continue to be friends with someone that does not take responsibility for their actions. We are all accountable, making mistakes is part of life, own it and move on. No one is perfect.

    Another relevant thought on this is one of my favorite quotes: “I don’t need to be right, I just need to be understood.”

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