Live a life as a monument to your soul.
- Ayn Rand
Should I do this or that? Is this right or am I making a mistake? How many times do we find ourselves asking whether we are making the “right” decision? What if that is the “wrong” question?
Instead, what would it be like to be curious about the two (or more) different stories and adventures we would have by following the different paths. What if:
There is no right or wrong - just different journeys.
Working for many years with many different clients, a common theme of initially looking at things is: Is this right or wrong? Yet this lens never really answers the question. There is always a residue of what if? When we look at the decisions in our lives as if we were choosing a journey or adventure, a whole new flavour and vista of opportunities arises and we don’t feel so stuck.
Imagine planning a vacation. We may look at two destinations that we are curious about and they have very different cultures, experiences and opportunities. As we explore the options, we are excited about the possibilities and maybe a bit sad about the ones we may not have. Yet there is an openness and no personal judgment of “right” or “wrong”. We can get in touch with which one feels vibrant and enhancing to us in that moment.
If we take that same way of looking at our choices in life, we may lighten our load and enjoy the adventure of this amazing life we are gifted with, even in the darkest times. I often chuckle that we tend to want an “easy” and “happy” life, but we didn’t check that box on the entrance paperwork to this life. Paradoxically as well, it is how we get through our challenges that often brings us our most satisfaction. That said, we are free to embrace life and go through the living of it rather than try to find an easy path with no twists and turns. Whether we take that job or the other job; date that person or not; pursue post-secondary school right away or travel; work or play for the day - all of these are different experiences with different ripple effects that we learn, grow and understand through. We may or may not like the ripple effects, but there is no “right” or “wrong”.
If I choose an adventure holiday when my energy would prefer a sleep on the beach, there is still no right or wrong, just an experience that highlights slightly more discomfort as well as challenges me beyond my comfort zone. I will grow through that experience - I may even discover that I thoroughly enjoy that type of experience or I may decide that my next vacation is definitely a sleep on the beach.
We flow as a river does - some rapids and some smooth sailing.
Judgment of right and wrong, while the heart of it is trying to help us, tends to give much extra weight and heaviness to our lives and can result in regrets, resentment, guilt and many other heavy emotions and feelings. While life is not easy and we all go through pain, we are empowered to start lessening the unnecessary pain that we put upon ourselves in judgment.
All of this, of course, is easier said than done. Life can actually be quite simple, yet difficult to implement. Next time a decision comes up and the trigger response is:Is this the right or wrong thing to do?, I invite you to:
- Take a deep breath
- Sit back for a moment
- Rephrase the question to: I wonder what the different options would BE like?
- Feel the different possible journeys
- Note how your body feels as well as the thoughts - is there more energy? Less energy? Enticing challenge? What are the growth opportunities?
- Allow time for the chaos phase of a choice - chaos comes before order in nature as well as in our lives - we need to dissolve the old paradigms when embracing new ones
- Once the clouds in our minds have cleared a bit, be receptive the the arising answer (it may be the right brain delivering it to the left brain while driving or in the shower - at least that is how it often happens for me)
- Most importantly, live your choice to the fullest!
We are here to live our lives, through the thick and thin and (tongue in cheek)“right” and “wrong”.