“Would you rather be right or happy.”
– Hugh Prather
I was on a beautiful bike ride yesterday on the new Hauraki Rail Trail. It was a beautiful day, sunny and stunning.
The only problem was that on the first part of the journey, my husband Jeff and I were in an argument. The argument wasn’t huge, it was a revisit of a common theme. I tend to hyperbolize things . . . (OK and occasionally make stuff up to make a better story), and Jeff tends to want the TRUTH with a capital T in most situations. On this particular occasion, I was talking about something financial, and I did a bit of spinning a tale, and Jeff reacted, in my opinion over-reacted.
I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say that it somewhat ruined the first half of the ride for me. At the spot where we were going to turn around, Jeff put on his goofy grin and said, so “Do you want to be right or happy?” Which allowed me some space to see the humor, which opened up our communication and we could talk about this latest argument. We talked about the workshop we did with Hugh and Gale Prather in Tucson, AZ back in 1989. It was a relationship workshop and a central theme was Right or Happy. Sigh – I usually want both.
The important realization I had though, was that after talking at that mid-way point on the ride, I had such a better time on the second half of the ride. Although I didn’t prove my point and make him see that he was wrong and I was right, I was so much happier after we were able to communicate through the difficulty and move on. The ability to communicate through it was the central key. We both listened and tried to understand the others’ point of view – not to say that the other person was right or wrong, just to understand the other side and accept it as valid for that person.
Please don’t get me wrong, this is not an easy decision, and anyone who knows me – knows that I really like to be right! But usually (always?) in relationships there are two sides of a story, two experiences in an argument and both are usually valid depending on which angle you are viewing it from. And yesterday, on the bike ride I viscerally felt the feeling . . . I’d rather be happy. But damn, it is not always an easy decision.
For those of you who have not read Notes To Myself by Hugh Prather – it is a beautiful book, well worth a read. Here is a very short clip by Hugh Prather about Attitudinal Healing.
Please let me know your thoughts on Hugh Prather and any experiences you have being Right or Happy.
And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.