Corrections & Conniptions
When I was a kid, my mother had the habit of politely correcting my grammar, not by directly pointing out my error, but by repeating what I'd said - only in a corrected form. Here's an example. When I said to her, "I'm going to grow my hair out," she very sweetly stated, "Oh, you're going to let your hair grow out."
Strange thing - those type of corrections never bothered me, maybe because they weren't chronic, maybe because I found her technique sort of funny. (It seemed like she was hoping to correct me without me noticing.) Or maybe they didn't bother me because I hadn't linked grammar usage with my sense of self.
In my life, I have been corrected from time to time with varying degrees of receptivity on my part. For instance, it is not uncommon for me to get the lyrics to a song wrong and happen to do so in front of my husband. . . who happens to have a passion for getting lyrics right. But during those corrections, I find myself embarrassed and grumpy rather than interested or grateful.
What is it that determines when my ego is going to have a conniption and when it is willing to step aside for new information ? I've often justified my reactions with silent blame of the other party's approach or attitude - doing the ol' switch-aroo in which their egos are the problem, not mine. But what I really want is different.
How great it would be to be completely free of the "What This Means About Me" story and be able to just listen and hear what is being given. This is a different paradigm: instead of being the one who should know, being the one who is fine with not knowing and loves discovering.
Then correction stops being interpreted as "There's something wrong with me" (or maybe even "There's something wrong with YOU for correcting me!"), conniptions fall aside, and life - well, life is allowed to return to its inherent state of integrity, a collaborative game of learning for all. And there's no ego pride in being "right", no shame in being "wrong".
From the Inside