As someone who has struggled with social anxiety for many years, it is now evident that my interactions or relationships with others is actually my connection with Spirit/God/divine light/energy/whatever you want to call It. In other words, "every encounter is a holy encounter." Each personal relationship can truly be looked at as a chance to grow. And every conflict gives me an opportunity to know my Highest Self even better.
Carl Jung said, "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
Yup. That sounds about right.
So often it is my ego that dictates my response to a certain word or action. I am quick to get defensive, quick to feel attacked, quick to attack back in a misguided attempt to preserve my identity. Yet that never seems to give me the outcome I desire. Whether I realize it in the moment or not, when I feel hurt, angry, or annoyed I am really calling out for love. Just as when someone hurts me, that person is also calling out for love. And so what it really comes down to is this question, as posed in A Course in Miracles, "Do you prefer that you be right or happy?"
Simply put, am I going to stay stuck in my ego playing the "pity-me game," the "I am right and you are wrong game," the "way you do that is so irritating/selfish/rude/obnoxious game," OR am I going to access my Highest Self, the God within, deny my ego, and surrender?
If I am ultimately committed to selfless love, if I am committed to this spiritual journey of self-awareness, being right is not in any way a part of my agenda. It is not the goal. Instead, my agenda is love, and (trust me) that is the way to happiness.
Sri Mata Amritamayi Devi (Amma) instructs us to say, "Yes." Just yes. What does that mean? In this respect, it is the same idea. Give in, surrender, let go. When I take a moment to stop, check in, breathe, my answer to whether I would rather be right or happy is always happy. I am always more peaceful if I choose to act in this way. Then I can look back over what transpired and sometimes I can learn just a little bit more about myself. This isn't to say that I never get caught up in the back and forth arguments that can easily permeate close relationships, but it is a reminder to myself that I can choose to act differently, if not this time, then next.
I will always have a choice to be right or happy. And so do you.
"In my defenselessness my safety lies." -ACIM