My mother was mad at me this year because I didn’t call her on Easter. Or the day after Easter. She talked to most of my family on Easter… except for me.
I was in Southern Utah hiking and squeezing through slot canyons. I didn’t think to call. I was exhausted and pleasantly dusted in red clay sand.
My mother thinks I’m thoughtless. That I don’t care about her that much.
She’s wrong. I’m incredibly thoughtful. And I love her more than anyone in the world.
So, I said I was sorry and I told her I love her. I’ll call her next year on Easter now that I know it’s important. And that’s that.
My mother has her opinions, and she is often wrong. If I argue with her, she defends herself and I get frustrated. I don’t enjoy feeling frustrated. I see that it is a choice to engage in this pattern or not. So now, when she sets in on me, I try to let her have her opinion, let her be right or let her be wrong, and let it go.
It’s hard not to react to opinions. It’s hard to listen to someone be wrong about you. It’s hard not to be defensive. But is it helping you? Does being defensive help make the situation better?
I care about my mother and our relationship. She is often right. She has good advice sometimes.
Yes, I can be thoughtless.
Yes, it would be nice if I called her more often.
We can own the truth. We can admit our own weaknesses. We can apologize for our mistakes. We can try again.
But we don’t have to own all the opinions. We don’t have to defend against all the opinions. We can let people be wrong about us.
We can let it go. We can be like Teflon: non-stick.
You don’t have to react to everyone. You don’t have to react to anyone.
Let people be right, and let them be wrong.
My mom also thinks I’m dynamite. Dynamite. That’s the word she likes. Dynamite. Just… Dynamite.
She thinks my job is incredible and my house is cool. She thinks I’m beautiful and exciting and she’s wide eyed blink blink blink flabbergasted at who her little silly girl has become.
I’m not so sure I’m as dynamite as my mom says, but hey…
Maybe I am wrong about myself.
Maybe I’m wrong about me.
Beautiful, critical, criticized reader: Who is right about you? Who is wrong? Who gets to decide? Who cares? Why get so defensive? Does it feel good to you? Is it helping?
Let people be right. Let people be wrong. Let everyone have their opinions. They’re going to anyway. Your reaction is optional.
Loving you out there. I think you’re dynamite. Am I right? XO