Monday, June 20, 2011

"Even When I'm Wrong, I'm Right."

My ex used to say that, and I'd grind my teeth in frustration - in his worldview, he was always in the right, and that was just the way it was, period.

Life offers lessons; we accept or refuse them. When we are involved in a determination to be "right," we lose sight of the lesson we could be learning. When we are justifying our feelings or actions, we aren't listening to what our Higher Power may be trying to teach us.

It's always been a source of amazement to me, the way we human beings can take an obvious blunder, and through the use of some very tortured reasoning, flip it over into a deliberate choice motivated only by purest of feelings.  And then argue this with the most impassioned speeches. All in the service of being "right."

When I admitted my powerlessness, and to the reality that my life was unmanageable, I gave up trying to be right. Right didn't matter so much any more - what mattered was that I was sunk in a gloom-filled mindset, with emotions roiling and resentment festering, and I was desperate to find a better way to live.

Being right is about ego, and the facade we display to the world. When I can let that go, and admit to my having been in error, or thoroughly mistaken, I achieve a freedom I was unaware was possible, in this lifetime.

I used to spend a lot of time being righteously indignant about the way other people behaved, or the things they said; that was my bashed-about ego trying to assert itself. I didn't know any other way to feel satisfied than to be "right" and someone else "wrong."

In this wonderful program, I have found that I can let all of that go. I can admit that I am powerless over anyone but myself, and for that, I'm grateful. I can step back from my erroneous assumptions of obligation and responsibility, detach, and turn my efforts towards what I can change.

All that time I invested in proving that I was "right," did not afford me one molecule of self respect, or ability to love myself. When I work towards improving myself, I know that I'm doing what I'm meant to do, and it satisfies me.

I've heard powerlessness criticised as "giving up" and for me, it was just that, but it was a giving up of that in which I shouldn't have been involved to begin with - trying to control the drinker and the drinking. Not my business.

I'm reminded of a program friend who laughingly recited an incident in which she'd declared dramatically to her alcoholic, "I wash my hands of you!" and looking upwards, he'd declared with equal drama, "Thankyou, God!"

I pray for the continued ability to admit my powerlessness, and for relaxed acceptance of that truth.


  1. I have found that I may be right about something but even suggesting that to alcoholics causes a lot of frustration and anger. I do my best to watch from the sidelines and not get involved in telling others what I see as obvious problems. I let them figure things out. Life provides powerful lessons on working the program.

  2. This post gives me a lot to think about. I have a hard time admitting my mistakes. I think this is because my mistakes seem bigger than they actually are. And I am trying to protect myself from horrible consequences. Sometimes these are imagined consequences. Rarely are they horrible. Sometimes they can be negative though. I tend to overeact to stuff. Runs in the family. But I am working on not panicking over minor stuff. I think I'm getting better.