I've come to a juncture in life. It's one of those that I hate, involving spiritual lessons and growing up when I don't particularly feel like it. This juncture is the question, do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?
People have posed this question to me previously, and I've always said that being right MAKES me happy. Today it became clear that it doesn't always, it won't always, and I can choose to be happy whether or not I'm right. It's a struggle right this very minute to choose to be happy, so I'm starting with choosing not to wallow. Readers know that I'm more of a baby-steps person.
I insist on proving my rightness so often that those who know me may be surprised at the lateness of my observation that it does not create happiness, but in addition to having a nearly flat learning curve regarding spiritual growth of any kind, I also require catastrophic circumstances to really learn anything.
Life, obligingly, has presented me with a constantly evolving cycle of catastrophes and trials, although less Biblical and involving fewer deaths than Job's, and they all came to a terrible head today. I had to make a big decision. How badly did I want to be right? But I realized that BEING right and proving to others that I am right are often not equivalent and also that thinking I always have to be right deprives me of the opportunity that I offer others: to make mistakes. I didn't make any TODAY, that I'm aware of, but it still seems like an important thing to realize, so I'm including it.
What do I need to be happy? Examination reveals that nothing more than a more optimistic and humble attitude is required. For a free thing, it has come at great expense, bodily, psychically, and spiritually.
I used to react to "right or happy?" in the classic "your money or your life" way: I thought about it. Sometimes for a very long time. I hope that from now on "happy" is my unmarked condition, the decision I make without pause. It is nice to be right. It is even nicer when others note my rightness. But overall no one really cares except me, and I spend so much time being right that it really cuts inconveniently into my happiness.
I choose happy.