I’ve been wrong a lot in my life. I was wrong as a kid, I was wrong as a tween, as a teen, as a young adult, and in my adult life. I was wrong in what I allowed myself to take in as true. I was wrong in what I allowed myself to believe. I was wrong for trying to fit in. I was wrong for believing in toxic beliefs within my family, my church, my schools, my friends, and society in general. But here’s the thing, I’ve learned to love realizing when I’m wrong. When I realize I’m wrong, I give myself the opportunity to choose something that feels better, more “right” and aligned for my true self. Being authentic means transforming ‘wrong’ into truth and wisdom.
Being wrong is not a bad thing. Being wrong is an opportunity. Realizing that you are or were wrong is one of the most tremendous and nourishing gifts you can bestow upon yourself. Realizing your wrong gives you an incredible opportunity to grow and evolve. Realizing your wrong allows space for and even encourages empathy, compassion, and forgiveness. Realizing your ‘wrong’ opens your eyes to seeing the illusions of right and wrong and disillusionment of truth. When you realize you’ve been wrong you open up possibility for learning and LOVING. And when you apply what you learn as lessons to your life, you gain wisdom. I would much rather realize I’m wrong and become wiser than be right all the time (or merely believe the illusion that I’m right).
When I realize I’m wrong I give myself the opportunity to know myself more deeply, care about myself more deeply, and be more conscientious of the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that I engage within my life. By acknowledging when I’m wrong I get to be more authentic with others and possibly be an example for and give others permission to open up–creating space for others to be able to admit when they’re wrong and pursue the truths that will fill the newly-opened space left by excusing what was wrong. When I transform what was wrong, I open myself up to LOVING myself and others more purely, more truly, and more uniquely. Being OK with being wrong lends itself to being more open and curious—this is where all the magic happens.
We must be OK with being wrong so that we can allow ourselves to learn, grow, and evolve. We must be OK with being wrong—absolutely void of shame. We must allow ourselves to be wrong and wear that knowing as a badge of honor. We must deeply respect ourselves and others when they realize that they are wrong. This is one of the greatest and most honorable realizations that we can allow ourselves. This is how we open up and LOVE every part of our self and illuminate our truer being. This is the permission we need to ditch the idea of perfection and break out of bending ourselves to fit in. Ditch the dogma, rhetoric, status quo, ‘shoulds’, and detrimental desire to merely fit in. Contorting yourself to fit in is to adhere to what you feel and know is wrong; thus, playing a submissive role to yourself and others. It’s never about fitting in, it’s about belonging and only authenticity allows you to really belong–first to yourself and then with others.
Challenge what you feel is wrong for you, independent of anyone or anything else–do it respectfully, and be diligent in your pursuit for your truth. This is how you will get to know the people and world around you so much better and much more deeply.
By Melissa Reese