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January 2, 2005

The Need To Be Right

I'm really working on this one. It is a personal goal (and a joint goal, since others are helping me achieve it) to let go of the need to be right.

In 2004, I watched my life TRANSFORM as a result of the simple concepts in Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting (a book given to me by cousin Faith, whose life was changed by the same book in 2003). My financial situation improved exponentially, my relationship with Keith evolved to a level I didn't imagine possible, my partnerships in career endeavors became more deeply invested and satisfying, and my attachment to painful events from my past dissolved.

There was one part of my life that, despite ALL of my best efforts, simply would not respond. My body.

So, I decided to do some poking around. Surely, there had to be a book out there that had the recipe for applying what I'd already learned to the one part of my life that wasn't already responding. Indeed, it seems there might be. Un-Dieting looks like the best first step (I know better than to call anything "the answer" at this point).

One of the main elements of this book is a proposal that a lifetime of seldom-controlled body weight (despite the most valiant of efforts and the strongest of will) has nothing to do with calories and everything to do with an obsessive need to be right.

Know anyone around here who has an obsessive need to be right?

Yeah. That'd be me.

It's most definitely at the root of much of my unhappiness (and, now that unhappiness represents a mere fraction of my life compared to the chunk of it I carried around previously, that unhappiness is like a hangnail: tiny, obnoxious, and just painful enough to occasionally turn the whole finger a throbbing red until amputation is a consideration). To imagine that one of my least favorite personality traits could also be responsible for a lifetime of self-hatred over a twisted body image (yes, even at 5'7" and 108 lbs. in 1985, I was certain I was clinically obese) is both terrifying and extraordinarily liberating.

Mostly terrifying.

Who am I, if I'm not always needing to be right? That is SUCH a big part of my personality that I can't even fathom how it will feel to have worked this issue out (or even to have lessened its impact somehow).

Well, having read a bit about this issue (but not as much as I've since read... or still have ahead to read), I became embarrassed beyond belief at my behavior at the McCarthy's Christmas Eve Eve Party. I was cruel, obnoxious, aggressive, and just plain rude... all to be right.

And NO ONE could possibly have cared.

So why is it that, in the safest of environments, I can still find a way to be the most repugnant parts of myself? Isn't that the sort of place where I should feel safe to JUST BE?

I have a lot to learn.

But I also have an absolutely lovely reason to learn--and quickly. Being 80 pounds overweight before the age of 35 (when you had a mother who was an adult-onset diabetic due to her own obesity) is not just a pain in the ass, it's dangerous.

Yes, I'm exercising every day. Yes, I've changed my diet (again). Yes, I'm coming off of my medication (whether I want to or not). And yes, I am now also going to work on everything that is at the root of how I see myself.

If that means I also become a gentler person to others in the process, all the better. And if I'm wrong about everything for the rest of my life? Well, hell... it'll be about damn time.

Posted by bonnie at January 2, 2005 3:42 AM