Beyond the Misnomer of “Being Happy vs. Being Right”
In the 5-minute drive on the way home from the gym early this morning, I was listening to a conversation between two radio personalities; it was a man and a woman talking about how important it is to get to the place of “being happy vs. being right” in a relationship. I’ve recently seen a lot of quotes around this on social media, too.
I know it’s well meant – finding a way to get from a place of battling and competition to a place of peace in a relationship – however, from a higher consciousness perspective, such a strategy is only partially productive, and it can often shift our limitations to a completely different and just as self-limiting of an angle instead of liberating us from them, to truly allow ourselves to exist in happiness, both individually and together.
Let’s shift this… just… a… little… bit… by considering a few points that are often overlooked in this context:
- “Right” and “wrong” are judgments created and held by the ego via separation/duality and the filter of one’s individual journey. Thus, the perception of such is different from individual to individual. When we base any decision on “who’s right” or “who’s wrong,” we’re doing so on a very personal, filtered, judgmental basis. In actuality, it’s comparing apples to oranges!When looking at it from this perspective, it’s exclusionary and limiting to judge someone else’s truth (and thus, their “right” and “wrong”) based on our own! No matter what the relationship, if we’re doing that, we’re holding the other individual to a standard that we hold based on a sum of experiences that they haven’t had (even if you’ve been married for 50 years); we’re also expecting them to make our truth more important than their own! Ultimately, it’s not the job of anyone else to hold the truth of our journey… only their own.We’ve fully saturated ourselves in this separation-based power struggle; in doing so, we’ve decided that we value ourselves based on others following what we personally believe to be “right” and “wrong,” and what “battles” we’ve won… or often, how we’ve managed to assert our truth onto someone else.
One of the biggest limiting habits we hold in this context is that we often
a) force our own belief/experience of what is “right” onto someone else, in the effort to make them accept it as their own, or
b) allow someone else to project and enforce their own belief/experience of what is “right” onto ourselves, essentially giving up that piece of our own truth and journey as not as important or valuable as the other person’s.
It’s a constant swing of the pendulum in many traditional relationships, in any presentation via this existence of duality. Mine, yours, yours, mine, etc. Change of power, change of situation, change of individual filters… and it swings yet again, often off in a different direction.
- What “being happy” in a relationship actually means. We often focus so much effort and energy on making another person happy in a relationship that we forget the primary importance of our own happiness. I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve seen who, when I ask what makes them happy, they reply, “Making my ______ (spouse, kids, family, etc.) happy.” (And make no assumptions here; I’ve heard this from men just as often as I’ve heard it from women!)Energetically speaking, putting the importance of someone else’s happiness above our own energetically says that our own happiness – and thus, our own journey – isn’t as important as someone else’s. This is also most often well-meant, with the belief that this shows how much we care or love them; however, it’s still exclusionary and limiting to at least one person in the party! This might be fine for a few weeks, a few months, a few decades… however, at some point, the pile of self-sacrifice will get so big – even built on what often starts out as small – that it will create a personal crisis, and/or a crisis in the relationship, because the relationship becomes so emotionally imbalanced that something breaks. This manifests in a variety of ways, for one or both parties involved: It can lead to depression, adultery, anger/animosity, heightened self-esteem issues, and on the other end, toddler-like entitlement (at the expense of the other) and overdominance. These are the points at which many of my clients come in to see me; they often have a long, built up resentment of the partner, of themselves, of the relationship, or any/all of the above!
So, what would be the higher perspective of this? How would we evolve our relationships beyond this, for a truly enjoyable, high vibrational experience?
- Find, know, and continuously cultivate your own happiness, first and foremost. So often, I start with asking someone, “What brings you pure joy – without dependence on another person to give it to you (like a child, spouse, etc.)?” There are a surprising amount of people I’ve encountered who don’t even know the answer to that simple question! I often have to refrain the question to, “If you were all by yourself, and you could do anything you wanted to be happy with the exception of having other people around you, what would you do?”And still, sometimes I get a blank look and, after a pause, the guilty confession: “I don’t know.”When we board an airplane, we have to listen to the safety guidelines at the beginning of the flight. What does the flight attendant say about those oxygen masks, should they fall from the ceiling? “Secure the oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping anyone sitting next to you…”
This is a GREAT analogy about finding our own happiness; the kind that comes from within. Another one is that eventually, a well runs dry when it’s not nourished and rejuvenated regularly. How can we give a true outpouring of love to others if we only have a limited amount of love within ourselves?
Also, as much as it’s important to know what makes you happy… it’s just as important to DO what makes you happy! Do you like sunrises? The ocean? Going for a walk around a lake? Stopping in a flower garden to admire the flowers? Do you have a hobby or anything you like to do that stills the mind and opens the heart? When was the last time you did anything of the sort to immerse yourself in the experience? It’s only important that YOU do it (and completely optional for anyone else to do it with you); expecting a partner to like everything you do is, again, projecting your “truth” onto them. Likewise for them; it’s only important that they take time to do the things that bring them joy, as well… free of expectation that you have to do it with them!
Of course, part of a relationship is sharing, so experiencing together is great; maybe you both have many commonalities in what brings you joy… and you can of course explore that together, too!
Overall, remember the sense of self-love (which means honoring your own journey) is the heightened vibration with which to come to a relationship; if we make it a priority to nurture, nourish, and grow our own happiness, we come to a relationship with the vibration of purely enjoying the other person, vs. needing them to fill some gap we believe we have, and vice versa.
- Honor each other’s journey and each other’s truth, without judging what’s “right” and “wrong.” Sounds easy, right? Yet, it can be one of the most limiting dances we play with each other in a relationship! Can we disagree? Absolutely! It’s actually very healthy for both in a relationship to stand in their truth, even when it’s different from each other. When we honor each other as having the perfect journey for our purposes, we come to the table respecting each other and in partnership – equally – while respecting ourselves (which comes from a strong sense of self-love; thus, see number 1, above!). The key is to know our own truth, be confident in it, and still consider and honor the truth of someone else, even if it’s different.That’s when we really begin to listen – and hear – to each other.When we come to the relationship from a conscious perspective of self-love and mutual respect, we’re actually more open to disagreement and seeing things from a higher perspective, to more easily come to a middle ground where each individual still gets to maintain their truth while functioning together to agree upon what’s highest and best in that situation that plays out together.
- Shifting the focus of our negative emotions from projecting/blaming another to taking responsibility for our own trigger points and negative emotions. No one makes us feel a certain emotion – regardless of what they do – except for ourselves! So ultimately, it goes back to self-awareness and self-love: If we’re good with ourselves and where we are, the other person can leave the toothpaste cap all they want, they can leave their dirty clothes anywhere, and it will all be just fine!Try this next time you get irritated at someone else: Ask yourself, “Why do I care?” Keep on asking that question (questions to the questions) until you get to a place of full self-responsibility; it often comes down to beliefs around self-worthiness (self-love, or lack of) in some way, shape, or form!
These are some very basic ways we can fundamentally change our relationships, away from the separation-based version to the unity-based version. Instead of considering relationships – all of them – as a battle of some sort, a hierarchy of some sort, what if we came to the table in a place of love, unity, and mutual respect? Then instead of spending so much energy asserting or sacrificing, we allow ourselves and each other to be the best each of us can be in the reflection of our relationship!
If you’re looking for help with any of this, whether for yourself only or in a relationship, contact me for some sessions! I’ve worked with a number of individuals and couples to help them navigate through the relationship matrix in a very different manner than is traditional; away from a place of limitation and lower vibration to a place of joy, collaboration, and higher spiritual consciousness.