Monday, June 21, 2010

If you're not happy, do you think you could be wrong?

I've been trying to think of how to write out this post. It is something that has been brewing in me for a few days... scratch that... a few weeks.

Maybe it started when I realized that "someone could accuse you of something that you've never done. And they will be so convinced that they're right that nothing you do will change their mind."

Or when I got so angry at those in my life who ask for help and then get angry at me for suggesting they stop the hurtful behavior.

Some people say they want advice. What they really want is validation for the decision or judgment that they've already made.

The decision that, "I am a victim."

The decision to continue with a course of action or non-action that isn't serving them.

A judgment of another person. Or themselves.

The decision that "I am not deserving of anything better than this..."


What I've noticed lately is that most of the time, people have already made up their minds when they ask for advice.

I'm not sure if those in my life realize the power they have.

They are the only ones with the power to change their situations by changing their minds.

So lately, when I've had discussions with friends or family, and I'm observing they're asking me for my advice or they're accusing someone of something or they're convinced about their own victimhood, I've said NOTHING AT ALL.

This is difficult for me, this silence. I'm my daddy's daughter, opinionated and out-spoken.

But now I'm realizing that it's nothing more than a waste of words. I should save my breath. They're only hearing what they want to hear.


"I do not perceive my own best interests."
Lesson 24, ACIM

The above quote is one of my favorite lessons from A Course in Miracles. I can think of many times that I thought I knew what was right or what I wanted but life had other ideas. And funny enough, those other ideas were exactly what I needed to happen.

I also love this from ACIM:

"Remember how many times you thought you knew all the 'facts' you needed for judgment, and how wrong you were! Is there anyone who has not had this experience? Would you know how many times you merely thought you were right, without ever realizing you were wrong?"


Sometimes I want to say to the people in my life:

Does being right about this bring you peace? And if it doesn't, do you think perhaps that you could be wrong?

*Would you rather be right or happy?* 

In seeing all of this around me, I am reminded that I should always ask myself the exact same question.

Perhaps some of us (yes, me too) forget that we actually do want peace. Perhaps sometimes, we enjoy the pain.

Who am I to judge what people in my life feel or are going through? Maybe their pain is serving them and driving them towards something greater. They are the only ones who will decide when they've had enough, just as I've had to do on my own. Maybe then, when the "pain exceeds the pleasure" (thx D!), they (or I) will open up a tiny space to look at things in a different way.

Until then, I will listen. Love. And (do my best to) remain silent.


  1. Great post T! And a great question for everyone to remember.

  2. I do believe we choose our perspective and that with that many aspects of our life follow!

  3. If someone else insists on being right, I shrug and don't let it bother me. Did I address your point? :-) (just kidding!)

    Feel compassion for others, and you'll be fine.

  4. YES - so right re: advice..opinions are already made...similar to "be honest"...someone asks you something and wants an honest answer and when you give it, they get mad. WTF, right?? With you...great post, layered, as usual, with so much to ponder...

  5. I honestly think that most people who ask for advice really just want to have their already formed opinion validated...and when they don't get it, they get upset.

    Good for you for remaining quiet. It's hard to let people take themselves down a hurtful road...but you need to take care of yourself first.


  6. I try to remind myself of that quote. Unfortunately, when I'm dealing with HIM, more often than not I fail miserably. Inevitably, the answer is always that yes, I choose happy over right every time.

    Thanks for the reminder...

  7. There is SO much I love about this post. Very, very good points. I think you're absolutely right--people often ask for advice when they just want someone to validate their decision. I will remember that. It is AMAZING what happens when you just listen, in my opinion. It's a lesson I'm certainly still learning. :)

  8. SO true. Usually I can tell the difference between someone who is really asking for advice and someone who is looking for validation. In the case of the latter I do keep silent and just listen and try to be there for them in other ways.

  9. I am not sure how I missed this post. I have been thinking the same thing about a few instances lately. I wonder why people that constantly have crap happening or going on can't step back and see that maybe they should look inside first. Work on that a little and then decide if they are a victem or the cause.
    After a while you just have to sit back and let them live in their own reality.


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