For years, I’ve asked people in crisis a simple question: “do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” It probably won’t surprise you that folks often reply that they want to be both right AND happy. Because that’s what our ego TRULY wants, isn’t it?
Recently, my dear friend Carol Howe put out a 13-minute “holiday message” video that built such a concrete picture of this dilemma, I can’t see how anyone can ever again seriously blurt out “both!” as their answer. Rather than choosing between “being right or being happy,” Carol framed it as a choice between “peace of mind” and “conflict.”
As Carol outlines, most spiritual paths declare that happiness results “when peace of mind is important to you. However, you look around the planet and it looks like peace of mind is no more a priority than jumping out the window. Conflict seems to be the priority. Conflict within ourselves. Conflict within families, tribes, nations – everywhere you look we seem to be pushing against conflict. The ego, the personal self, loves conflict. Conflict is its food. [Conflict] strengthens that sense of being separate.”
“Conflict really is an addiction. Notice what addictions are for: to distract us from the way we feel – that deep sense of emptiness, or forlorness, or pain – whatever you want to call it. Staying all stirred up in conflict serves the same purpose as all the other distractions and addictions, so we don’t begin to get into or feel our own sense of isolation and fear and woundedness.”
What’s going to be your salvation from pain and frustration? Conflict and fighting (for or against) something? Or reaching that inner place where nothing can disturb the calm peace of your mind? Your biggest obstacle may be inner beliefs such as thinking peace is boring, or weak or makes you vulnerable. Carol offers a new vision to turn our beliefs right-side up on this topic. If you want to skip the holiday intro and jump to the meat of the video, it starts around 2:45.