Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I Could Be Wrong

"I'm sorry."
She said it three times within a few minutes as I asked for papers that not two minutes before I'd given back to her and said I was finished with. It was me who needed to apologize. Three separate pages, three separate "I'm sorry's".

The paperwork got sorted out and she went on her way. I sat there and thought about our reputation as Canadians to apologize for things that aren't ours to own. If I accidentally bump into someone in a store they are most likely to apologize and I've found myself doing the same thing many times. Apologizing for being in the way of someone who isn't watching where they are going is ridiculous.

While other people might need to learn to stop apologizing and realize when they are right, I have most needed to learn how to say, "I could be wrong." At first it was really hard to get those words out of my mouth as I had prized myself on being right about most everything. Even when I was wrong I was still right in my mind. Dearest one and I would be talking about the most mundane things and I had to learn that my opinion was not necessarily fact.

It took a while for me to believe I could be wrong. Every so often now when it rolls off my tongue (not that it only rolls off my tongue every so often, more like daily) but, once in a while when I hear myself using that phrase, I am amazed that I came to own it and believe it; that I came to be at peace about being wrong. And there are times when I don't want to say it, don't believe it possible. Of course there are. But that it's not my default setting is nothing short of miraculous. Really.

These are the kind of changes that make me teary. The kind of changes that are impossible to make on my own strength. I didn't learn this in church. During most of the last 20 years of being in faith communities I learned to stand firm in my rightness. No, I learned to accept that I could be wrong, am often wrong, through the fellowship of AA. Through working the 12 steps. Through watching people who I admire in the fellowship conduct themselves with a humility that is impossible to possess if they are expending all their energy in being right. I wanted what they had. I still do.

5 comments:

Em said...

Oh yes, "I could be wrong" is pretty difficult for me as well. Monday night I nearly got myself fired from my job because I was tired and pms'ing and basically decided I could act like a punk because I totally thought I was right about being pissy...WHOA! rude awakening the next morning when I woke up and took my inventory, etc. I am so grateful for the 12 steps!

Melissa said...

That type of humility reminds me of my father. I only hope I can find it one day. Kudos to you.

Black Pete said...

In which case, you could be right. Just don't let it go to your head! ;)

Kathy Lynne said...

so very true....reminds me of Fonzie from happy days...

Andrew said...

I have found that a good way to end an argument is to say "You may be right" and let it go at that.