I like to be right. I’ll admit it: Not being wrong feels amazing. But being right is not important.
In truth, it’s acting rightly that matters, choosing to be “in accordance with what is just, good, or proper.” It’s actions that make a difference. And sometimes I act wrong.
Just now, for example, I should have said “wrongly”–that’s the correct way to use an adverb. But I didn’t care, because I liked the sound of the sentence better when I wrote it my way.
“My way” and “wrong” have a knack for finding each other.
Most recently my selfish will–which I’m still striving to let go of–tricked me into making a mighty mistake, one that has caused a lot of pain. Fortunately, pain is not pointless. Unfortunately, knowing this does not make it less painful.
What helps with the pain is compassion. Because there is a right way to be wrong–a loving way to accept mistakes. Feeling sad sucks, but this too shall pass. As long as I don’t harbor self-hate.
Self-hate wants me to suffer. It believes in punishment, in penance, in perpetuating pain.
Self-hate needs healing too, I know. I won’t banish it from my “Guest House”–but I don’t have to offer it a cozy chair in which to curl up. I can give compassion the seat of honor.
I made a mistake, it’s true. I acted wrongly. And compassion says, okay.
Compassion says, be kind. It says, you tried. You did your best to be just, to be good, to be proper. And you failed. It’s all right. You are still worthy. You are still loved. Always, anyway, no matter what.
What a relief, amen.