Have you ever been sure of something? You were absolutely positive about something, your mind was made up, this is the way it is. Have you ever been wrong? I have. A LOT.
When I was 6 or 7 I was absolutely certain that I had the ins and outs of human digestion figured out. I remember standing in the dining room telling my brother while he ate his lunch, See this is how it works; you eat your food and then it travels through your body down to your knee where there is a trampoline, the food bounces off of the trampoline into your tummy and that’s the end. Then my Mom walked in the room and complimented me on my vivid imagination as she explained how tummies actually work. I was quite disappointed to learn there was no food trampoline in my knee, my body seemed so much more exciting with a secret knee trampoline.
I just asked my husband, who is laying in bed next to me doing his math art on his laptop, if he had a funny anecdote about getting it wrong he would like to share. He reminded me of a situation that took place not too long ago.
A few months ago my husband had a so sure so wrong moment regarding the blankets in our home. My husband is from Illinois where they have real winters. When he and I moved into together I realized this man comes with a lot of blankets. They are all from back home where in the winter they are needed, here in Florida where it can get in the 90’s on Christmas, not so much.
So a few months ago, on a particularly cold day, my husband and I were making our blanket burrows on the couches and getting ready to watch one of the Harry Potter movies together. My husband comes strolling out of the bedroom with my quilt at which point I immediately objected; Hey man, lay off my quilt, I was going to use that for my nest. My husband proceeds to tell me that it is not my quilt, it is his quilt, as he begins making his burrow with it.
At first I thought he was just being an ass and telling me to deal with it that he was going to use my quilt. My inner 5 year old started having a tantrum, she did not want to share her quilt, and my inner feminist was ramping up to verbally kick his ass; no man is going to take my shit and get away with it! When I opened my mouth again in protest I realized he wasn’t being an ass, he was being serious, he honestly thought it was his quilt.
In his defense this mistake could be easily made for someone who is not being super observant. My husband has a quilt that was made for him by his aunt which has brown, green, and tan box pattern on it. I have a quilt made for me by Target which also has a brown and tan on it. Mine however has turquoise as the third color and is a paisley design rather than the boxes and rectangles of my husband’s quilt.
So now I am explaining to my husband, No honey look at the pattern, this is my quilt yours looks like X,Y, and Z. He was not budging. He was absolutely adamant, so much so in fact that he did not even believe me that I had a quilt. He thought the two quilts were one in the same and that there was only one brown quilt and it belonged to him.
At this point I bet him a dollar that I was right. My husband knows what this means, most people who know me know what this means. I only bet a dollar when I am 100% certain of something and I almost never lose a dollar bet. For me the dollar bet is the equivalent of swearing on the bible. He knew I meant business. Usually when I pull out the big guns on a debate and bet a dollar he immediately folds because he knows he has lost, she knows the truth and I am only guessing, time to surrender. Not this time. The man was sticking to his guns.
I was done talking, time for action. We halted all prep for cozy movie day and I made him come with me as we searched the house for his quilt. While we searched I told him the story of how I bought that quilt online in my early twenties with two shams and a sheet set, he still was not convinced. Low and behold we found his quilt tucked away in the armoire in the guest room. Needless to say my husband was eating humble pie the rest of the day.
Sometimes we get it wrong and it is not cute or funny. Sometimes it is humiliating, sometimes it can be a very real problem.
Like being certain that it is clear and safe to change lanes when driving to then discover a car in the blind spot that we nearly collide with, terrifying.
Or any scenario where we are so sure and then so wrong in front of people we would never want to be that exposed in front of; like at work or with our in-laws.
There is certainly a shadow present with certitude and that is when our assurance of something crosses into arrogance. I was thinking about this when it comes to truth speaking. My truth is a mixture of belief and opinion, it is what I personally have decided is true for me in my life. When I speak my truth I feel liberated and bold, I am a lioness standing my ground. And this is all well and good AND it is always important for me to remember that my truth belongs to me. No one is required to agree or validate me in my truth just like it is not okay for me to assert my truth onto others with the expectation of this.
While in a group recently I noticed there was a lot of truth speaking going on which is beautiful AND it occurred to me that those standing in their truth may have actually believed that their truth, that belongs solely to them, was objective fact. I saw this as a sign for me to step back and acknowledge where in my life am I guilty of doing the same. I see my shadow of arrogance, I know where my work is with this shadow.
Always thankful for messages and mirrors that hold me accountable for my work. Tonight I welcome this shadow home, I am sure I will have much to learn while building my relationship with this part of myself.