Saturday, June 15, 2013

Admitting I Am Wrong

Holding anger close is like wrapping myself in a blanket that is on fire, while admitting I am wrong is like you jumping on me to put the flames out.

I wrote these words a few weeks ago. They sum up perfectly how I feel about my attitudes in a fight. Why is it easier to hold on to an insane desire to be right rather than love? Isn't love more important than being right? Of course it is, but my fighting brain doesn't want to admit it. Far too often, I lack the humility needed to gracefully disagree and work through a disagreement. Instead of discussing a point of contention, I for some reason feel the need to have Aaron acknowledge that he is wrong and I am right.

This sounds pretty funny as I write it down. How absurd, to put my ego before love, the most important, precious gift in the world! It is silly, yet to simply laugh and continue in this heart condition is so very dangerous. With this attitude, I set my relationships and my personal growth on fire. For if I am always right, I never grow as a person. If I am always right, I push people away from me. If I am always right, I alienate myself from the world and live alone. So why, why this need?

Although I aspire to grow, as I wrote about in my last post, it's hard. If I am right, there is nothing I need to work on in my heart. But if I am wrong, I have to work and change and grow. I have to change something in my heart. That's why it can be so hard for me to admit that I am wrong.

Yet this change is vital and crucial to a relationship, and a life, full of love.

I think an example might be helpful here. I wear contacts, and at night they make my eyes very dry, and if I don't take them out, they can be incredibly uncomfortable and ruin any experiences I may be having. Unfortunately, there have been several times when I have either forgotten to take them out or forgotten a contact case and solution, and have been watching a movie or TV show with friends late at night and cannot leave to take my contacts out, so I have suffered through whatever it is we are doing, but have complained to Aaron about it rather unnecessarily. Many times Aaron used to suggest to me to keep a contact case and solution in the car so that I would never find myself in such an uncomfortable situation. I didn't listen to him. I kept finding excuses to not listen to his perfectly sensible and helpful suggestion. He was trying to make life easier for me and I wouldn't let him.

Well, this has been going on for most of the time he has known me, and a few weeks ago we reached a critical point. We had gone over to a friend's house to watch some of the new Arrested Development series and of course I had both forgotten to take out my contacts and bring along a case. I decided to just keep quiet about it, but as my eyes grew progressively worse, that happy resolution dissolved into verbal complaints that just kept coming. Aaron was frustrated of course, because he had tried to prevent this situation over and over again, and I had not listened at all.

I finally realized that it was far more important for me to listen to his help than to persist in my dry eyes state (and dry heart state), and at last went to the store and bought extra contact solution (I even had an extra case at home) to keep in our car.

This was an incident that may seem very small and trivial, but it was indicative of larger problems in my heart. When I finally did make the simple change, it let Aaron know that I valued what he had to say, and I was willing to be wrong about complaining and ignoring his advice. It showed me that just by making this small change, I made a step towards a better way of caring in our relationship. I was willing to admit that I was wrong, humble myself, and make the necessary change. Now that I look back on it, it is laughable how much I resisted such a simple thing. It is even sillier when I realize that Aaron is always very gentle when I actually do admit I am wrong. He doesn't trample on my humility. It should be easy to admit that I am wrong.

I guess I have a lot to work on. Change doesn't come right away; it's never easy. Yet it is empowering to identify an issue in my heart, commit to work on it, and make some tangible changes right away. I have been afraid of change for much of my life, but it's so important! Love requires change, because I am not perfect. Every step I make in change is a step towards love.

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