I’ve been going through a bit of a tough time lately. And as usual, it made me realise and actually fully feel the depth of some of the classic spiritual concepts, like the good old idea of unconditional love everyone’s always on about for example.
(Which sort makes me think… Don’t you just hate that sometimes? That after some time you spend with personal development and spirituality, you see everything as ‘meaningful’? I mean, it’s awesome because life makes so much more sense thanks to that but on the other hand… Can I just have a good old and totally meaningless rant sometimes, please?!:-)).
Relationships can be really messy sometimes. And I mean all of them! With your partner, family, friends… After all, that’s how we learn about unconditional love in the first place, right? So it kind of makes sense this is the no.1 challenge in our lives.
One of the things, if not the only one actually, that makes relationships so difficult sometimes is conflict and the need to be right.
We all have it. Because in the end of the day, that’s how we identify with something… With our values, needs, the world around us, with ourselves! In a way, that’s how we know we even exist. We define ourselves in opposition to something or someone we are not. So yeah, we actually need something we disagree with or what we perceive as “wrong” so that we get an idea about what “right” is.
And knowing what’s right is super important because our brain works with a very simple equation; right = safe.
You need your life to be right as well as you yourself need to be right because if you’re wrong then basically, you feel threatened and endangered and since keeping you safe is your brain’s priority number one, what happens is that a survival-like reaction is triggered. That’s why conflicts are so freakin’ stressful and crazy and exhausting! Because what seems like a totally unreasonable fight over someone’s socks being yet again, tossed around the house, is in a way, actually perceived as a life endangering situation by some super innate “primitive” parts of our brain! (There you go with your clever excuse for your next crazy outrage! “You can’t just leave the toilet lid up! It triggers a survival reaction in me!”:-D)
But wait! Why exactly does right equal to safe?
Well, because as usual, you can slip a bit of the Freudian theory into it (listen, this guy… His teachings can be so universally used on so many issues that it’s not even funny!) and you’ll find that it all goes down to your childhood and the basic math of;
right => good => loved => safe again!
Everything is alright as long as you’re a good kid because then everyone will love you which means you’ll be safe, (a.k.a. your parents won’t leave you to starve to death somewhere or something li that).
So basically, the one and only reason we ever wanna be right in something is that we unconsciously believe it will make us “good” and therefore, loved and connected.
But as you probably know all too well yourself if you ever has any fight with anyone, what needing to be right really causes is quite the opposite; disconnection, hate and those moments when you just wanna slap someone with a dead fish or something.
Funny, huh? Just think about it!
On one hand, we kind of need to be opposed to something so that we can even have an identity (hello, Ego!), but on the other hand, all we’re truly after is connection, unity and love (nice to meet you, Soul!).
This really hit me in the last couple of weeks because as I got into several situation when I felt like I needed to explain, prove and justify myself to someone, I realised that all I was doing was trying to be right! And the more I pushed, the more I tried to explain and then impose my own explanations on others in hope they would finally get it, the more I tried to be loved by making others to accept me… The more disconnected I was.
Because that’s not what love looks like!
Love doesn’t take the shape of victory. Love is never like, “Look! You’re officially an idiot! Score!”
Love actually doesn’t even know any right or wrong.
Real love comes in the form of acceptance.
That’s what unconditional love actually is.
Unconditional love towards others is saying, “Look, I don’t get it. Maybe I don’t even agree but I accept you anyways. Because I don’t need to understand everything you say or do in order to respect you.”
Unconditional love toward yourself goes like, “Hey, I don’t need to justify myself. This is who I am. Take it or leave it.”
And yep, that often times means having the courage to walk away from people who just make you miserable. But it also means embracing those who don’t need to be right in order to love you.