I recently came across a new author for me, Harriet Lerner. I’ve only just downloaded one of her books and have yet to begin it and I can’t wait – it’s called ‘The Dance of Connection’ (right up my alley)
I read a taste from the prologue and it had me hooked. This is what it said;
“children choose happiness over righteousness. Grown-ups rarely make such a choice. We have a terrible time stepping aside from our anger, bitterness and hurt”.
Well that nailed my butt to the wall as I vulnerably admit I am currently feeling all of these things after an interaction with someone close when their thoughtlessness hit my deep primal wound button. Harriet goes on to say,
“Our need to balance the scales of justice is so strong that we lock ourselves into negativity at the expense of happiness and well-being.” more butt kicking – sigh.
I love books that nail my emotional immaturity in the moment and ask me to step up to being the ‘more’ that I am.
She continues with this wisdom,
“Our challenge as adults is to develop a strong voice that is uniquely our own, a voice that reflects our deepest values and convictions. Once we are comfortable within that voice, we can bring it to our most important relationships… We can speak – or decide not to” (so glad I didn’t hit ‘send’ with my letter telling this person how I felt!)
“Whatever we choose, we can return with clarity, wisdom and intention. By doing so we can strengthen the self and our connections, and have the best chance of achieving happiness during our time with each other” - a beautiful reminder.
Whenever we are hurt it is essential to take the time to calm down and give ourselves space to process the pain before responding to it – I call this the 'stop, breath & choose' method and this is what extreme self-care provides, the space to process. So I am simply allowing myself to feel, I am not rushing to analyse, justify or attack, but rather I am sitting with the discomfort and giving myself the space to process and allow the wisdom of this experience to become a gift in strengthening my connection to myself and my relationship.
When was the last time you chose happiness over righteousness?