Like many people, if I know that I’m right and the other person isn’t, then I find it extremely difficult not to shout this from the rooftops. This is especially true if I’m speaking to a close friend or family member and even more so if the issue in question is an important one.
A few years back, my parents and I got into a very heated debate about Brexit – them being totally for it, and me being totally against. I’m most definitely not alone here, as the absolute shambles that Brexit was and still is, continues to divide generations within families across the country.
In truth, things went too far – voices became heated, tears were shed and afterwards, I felt that something shifted in our relationship. Something was lost; something that I wasn’t sure we would ever get back. Having always had an honest and open relationships with my parents – and a loving one – this felt more than a little uncomfortable. But… I still felt that I had the moral high-ground; that I was right, and they weren’t.
Two years on, the Brexit chaos continues, but I have become much more patient in my approach. Mostly, I think this is thanks to all the mindfulness that I’ve been practising and the sense of acceptance and gratitude that this brings.
But I think it’s also because I’ve realised that my need to be right just isn’t that important.
Yes, my mum and dad can still ‘wind me up’ like nobody else, and we still disagree about a whole range of things, but I let them ‘get away’ with a lot more now. I’m not quite as loud/opinionated/critical/dogmatic in my disagreements. Because as much as my ego likes to win an argument, it certainly isn’t worth risking this or any relationship.
When I spend time with my parents now, it’s my intention to spend time with them; to notice and appreciate their company, warts ‘n’ all.
Since this argument two years ago, my amazing mum has gone through bowel cancer (and kicked its arse) and about a week ago, was diagnosed with breast cancer. They’ve caught it super-early so the prognosis looks good, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried; that the threat of losing her wasn’t looming in the dark recesses of my mind.