(No, it's not the Ryan. My dear husband and I see eye to eye on most things. Or at least nose to chin, or something close together like that.)
The thing about this other person is that I honestly really like him, even though we want to kick each other in the teeth over our opposite opinions sometimes. I've heard he thinks that I don't like him. But I do. I've always felt a kinship to him, seen the beauty of his heart, and have never, no matter what, been unable to forgive him. He's good, and I respect him and love to laugh with him. That's the truth.
Because of sobriety, and the way it sheds light on what needs working on in one's heart and soul and mind and body (yes, it's beautifully exhausting) I catch myself more now, or I hope too, anyway. I want to be less stubborn and prideful, more at ease and accepting and less sarcastically mouthy.
I want to walk away before I say things like, "Well, you can't base your opinions simply on what you feel about something before you even educate yourself."
This was the opposite of what this particular person needed to hear. It was a slap in the face and I knew it. If you knew him, you would know this was a cruel response. It was a kick in the gut for a number of reasons.
And no, I'm not going to beat myself up over it, I'm simply going to apologize.
This need to be right at all costs runs in my family, and it is so terribly unattractive. I carry it with me, and am nothing but overwhelmed with relief to see it slowly change over the years, for the better, not just in me, but in the people I love.
I want to just let go of it, this screaming and stomping stubborn insistence that I be heard and then told that I am exactly spot on correct, about whatever silly or un-silly thing we're discussing. I want to be done with this belief that I have all the answers and they are the right answers, and your opinions are probably too conservative or too slanted or just plain wrong. I want to be free of the fight in me, the welling of emotion so strong it races my heart and puts me in fight mode. I want to tranquilize the bear that growls and swipes and knocks down, only for a tiny moment of false victory.
The reality is, we're just people, so we're probably both at least partially wrong every single time.
The truth, it stands on its own, no matter what we think. The truth needs no defenders. It doesn't need us to stand head to head, eyes lit up with frustration, while pushing up dirt with our feet. It doesn't need us to see eye to eye. The truth simply is, no matter what we say or do.
I want enough humility to feel that, to really feel it. To not secretly believe that I know best as I fill my mind and heart with more ammo for my side, by reading and listening to all kinds of things that align with my slant, while my chest puffs up with opinions to be spewed. I don't want to be that person. I just don't.
The truth is (at least I hope, and if I'm wrong, the real truth will still stand anyway, so it's totally fine), we're all on the same team. No matter how different we are, we're the same. We would be able to live that in the most beautiful way, if only we could see beyond our differences, accepting each other exactly as we are while accepting anyone else, no matter how different they are from us. And maybe we would even let go of expecting others to morph into some other version of themselves that we expect and want, if only we could keep the bigger picture of truth in mind, instead of distracting ourselves over things that aren't as big as we make them.
That bigger picture? love. sacrifice. service. grace.
Yeah, maybe these thoughts are just Naive Heather Idealistic Impossibilities. Maybe this acceptance and humility thing is ridiculous, a foreign concept from a utopia that could never possibly exist in this world. But I'm still going to hope for it, because that's the kind of stubborn I'd like to be.
And you, the guy I'm talking about, you know who you are...
Brother dude, we make a good team. I'm sorry I acted like a big jerk.
Check out Robin's post about her inner jerk at Life...On Its Own Terms. My favorite part:
"It's a personality flaw that long pre-dates my addiction, but they thrive on each other's company. A response to extreme stress, a false bravado, a swagger designed to camouflage how badly my knees are shaking." - Robin