I am reading the Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte right now and I’ve been discovering a lot about myself, again, while reading the book and participating in a Fire Starters group every second Thursday – a fab group of ladies (who we refer to as Passionistas) who meet, discuss each chapter and the worksheet that goes with it. We have been meeting for months and I have gained nothing but awesomesauce from it. Met new people (because we keep it open for anyone to join at any time), developed some great friendships and been continually inspired by the compassion, empathy, drive, humour, and all around amazing share capacity of these ladies. If any of you are interested in coming to a Fire Starters meeting with me, just let me know and I’ll hook a girl up!
Anywho, about a month ago, I was reading and I came across the heading, Fuck Your So Called Principles…yes, Miss LaPorte does have a tendency to throw in a well-timed FBomb here and there and it makes me giggle. I read that heading and was immediately intrigued. There was an entire section in there about the concept of being right versus being happy and it really made me think hard about humans in general and my own take on the concept. I think human nature has a tendency to want people to agree with what we are saying, be on our side, root for our cause, etc.. Often (really often…) people lose their shit when other people don’t agree with their beliefs, ideas, needs, wants, etc., and it leads to so much unnecessary conflict.
I keep coming back to my most recent example of irreconcilable conflict caused by two totally pigheaded, uncompromising, inflexible and ridiculous children (me being one of them) who spent over a year in constant conflict because neither of us was adult enough to admit we were holding a grudge, hanging on to our “principles” just to spite the other, or wiling to extend each other an olive branch and agree to disagree so we could find a way to compromise. For a year I was angry, self-righteous, totally blind to my own ego (even though I insisted that the other person was all these things and I was not). It made me sick, sad, pissed off, defeated, spent and almost made me quit the sport that I love so hard it feels like it’s always been a part of me. Until one day I woke up and, after a lot of deliberation, asked myself if I wanted to be right or I wanted to be happy.
When I put it to myself that way, it was a no-brainer. I’ll take a delicious helping of happy please and thank you! And that was it, I chose to back down, apologize to everyone who my poor behaviour choices had affected (including my team, the person I’d been in conflict with, my poor husband who had listened to me bitch constantly for a year, and several of my derby friends who I vented to regularly) And, then, just to solidify happy for everyone, I also made the decision to distance myself from the situation and move on.
It was really hard to leave my team – the group of ladies who I had been skating, growing, living and loving with for two years – and there were times when I felt a bit lost, really sad that I no longer had them in my life on a regular basis, and, admittedly, a bit regretful that there wasn’t another way to heal the rift and keep my old team and new team in my life on a regular basis- but, in the end, it came down to one thing: happiness.
Happiness is a choice and, if I could go back in time, I would make the same choice over and over and over again because I have discovered that I don’t need to be right. I need to be happy.
And I am very happy!
So, next time you find yourself stressed out, pissed off, angry, resentful, toxic because you are in conflict with someone, ask yourself the super simple question: Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?