Everybody’s Right

Tea_for_the_Tillerman

One day when we were all rather bored in college, somebody came up with the idea of creating stories based on the cover of Cat Steven’s album “Tea for the Tillerman”. I don’t recall what those stories were, as we went around the room. I do recall that, after a quite detailed bit of fiction, the album was handed to a student who declared, “I have a better one.”

We all laughed at the presumption, and in fairness he caught his error immediately, turning a bit red. “Uh, I mean a different one”.

The reason that stayed with me all these years is probably because I have heard similar things on a daily basis and have spoken them, mostly unintentionally. We all have our way of doing things – the “best” way, the “right” way. Your ego is very self-assured, though you might try to convince yourself otherwise. As one college professor pointed out to me, “Everybody is right. If you don’t believe me, try finding someone who is wrong.”

All this “rightness” can be stressful and tiresome. It can lead to conflict and tension when we try to impose our “rightness” on others, or when they try to impose it on us. I can feel my solar plexus tighten when my “rightness” is challenged, and I think. “I can do this myself, thank you. I have planned a route/changed a nappy/written a report/made dinner before. Nobody died.”

Life is a learning experience. Coaching and guidance are valuable in the learning process. They can be given with the best of intentions, but unless we are open to receiving them, they only serve to cause us stress. We remove the resistance to constructive criticism when we give up the constant need to be right. That doesn’t mean you should take every bit of advice on board as something you must do. Be open to listening, then determine what works for you. Most people are just trying to help, even when their “rightness” gets in the way of positive communication.

Of course, there are people who are intent on showing you how wrong you are. But that’s their problem. Don’t make it yours. Let it go and your solar plexus will thank you.

Just for today I will be kind to all living things

See a list of Reiki precepts.

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