Tuesday, March 16, 2010


THE DEFENSE RESTS

My father was a defense attorney. He was paid to defend people who had clearly broken the law - get them off on technicalities, reach a plea bargain, have the charges dropped.

Defending yourself was the name of the game at my house. I was not taught to "own" stuff, to say, "Hey, you know what? You're right, I'm sorry." Defend. Defend. Defend.

It is very much in both my nature and my nurture to go straight to, "Oh, yea, well, what about YOU?" when called on something.

You know what? It's exhausting. I think there's something to be said for at least checking in when criticized, at least stopping temporarily and asking yourself, what part of this is true? at least considering it before dismissing it entirely. As Eckhart Tolle (my hero) says, "Relationships are not here to make us happy, they're here to make us conscious." So often we learn most from those with whom we disagree, but it's just no fun.

And so, for me, for now, the goal is to let the defense tactics rest. I don't have to make others wrong to be right, and the surprise discovery? I don't even have to be right at all, it's enough that I'm here reaching for the light and doing my best, as flawed as that might be.

It's enough.



* Photo from www.mass.gov

17 comments:

kario said...

Amen, sister! When my kids were littler I forced myself to stop and apologize to them for freaking out or accusing them of something without getting all the facts. I think it set a good example for them that even parents aren't perfect and they are pretty good about admitting their mistakes and apologizing for them, too.

Deb Shucka said...

"I don't have to make others wrong to be right" - I'm still working on this one. And the whole thing about not needing to be right but being okay with whatever is? I may need another lifetime or two for that one.

Jerri said...

"reaching for the light" reminds me of your plant.

Love you, girl.

Robin said...

It is more than enough. I am listening to Wayne Dyer who advises when someone says something nasty to us or totally disagrees with us, you should reply, "Maybe you are right." I am working towards that but I am not sure I can pull it off.

jess said...

yup. as my friend carrie would say, take an a.

pixiemama said...

YOU are enough.

love

Ask Me Anything said...

Great comments from the sisterhood!

Lizzy said...

I'm reading a book right now which says something very similar to what you've written. It's "The Places that Scare You" by Pema Chodron.

I can be like that too, defending myself. I'm learning, ever so slowly to stand back and say, is there any truth here? I'm learning to be flexible.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Oh, I so needed these reminders this week! Thank you!

Go Mama said...

So much progress all around, you deserve a drink. Icy cold cocktail in a chilled glass. :)
(or a beer will do too, it that's more your style)

Lori said...

My dad isn't a defense attorney (welder) nor is my mom (housewife), but damn if I don't defend too much.

Great lesson. Thanks for teaching me something today.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

THE PLACES THAT SCARE YOU has been on my reading list for way too long - no accidents, thanks Lizzy, for the nudge to move it to the top of the pile!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Robin,

The "Maybe you are right," thing both inspires and repulses me. I can't imagine saying that in response to someone's bigoted/ignorant/unkind comment, but I may give it a shot anyway, and see what happens. Thanks for sharing this! I love Wayne!

Amber said...

"Relationships are not here to make us happy, they're here to make us conscious." --

HELLLLLOOOOOO! lmao.

oxoxox :)

Wanda said...

And here's one I had to learn:

"It's okay to know you are right even when others think / tell you you are wrong."

Just because they challenge / accuse doesn't make it so.

Jamie said...

I so love this. I've had thoughts like this teasing at the edge of my mind - problems with the ex-wife and I caught myself actually thinking, maybe we are doing something that keeps this going???? Haven't got passed that initial thought, but it is a start.

fullsoulahead.com said...

'Tis.