Did you know that the energy of “right” and “wrong” does not exist anywhere in the universe, other than in the subject of math?
Many people get hung up around whether something they want or think or feel or choose or have said is actually “right” or “wrong”. Trying to sort this out inside (especially with your brain), is a debilitating experience sometimes for many people.
It can also often be the source of a lot of mental health distress, ultimately leading to things like depression, anxiety, addictions and so on.
And yet, I’m here to tell you a little secret:
There’s no such thing as “right” or “wrong”. Only in math.
There certainly are options or choices that might be more satisfying, feelings that you have that you are more accepting of, but that does not mean they are right or wrong.
There might be ways of showing up in the world or of treating others that you feel more satisfied with than others.
Right and wrong are constructs that are learned over the course of life, in response to contact and connection from the environment. It’s a classic case of classical conditioning: a child does something that an adult approves of and they are rewarded; however, when a child does something that an adult does not approve of, they are punished.
Overtime, a child begins to be shaped by someone else’s internal guidelines of what is “right” or “wrong”, whether that fits for them or not.
Sometimes this guidance is helpful in terms of learning how to be a functioning part of society, connect with others in loving kinds of ways.
Many times, it’s not. Instead, it’s dis-spiriting.
The problem becomes when choice is erased from the equation. Instead of presenting an option or solution, a belief or a feeling as just that, “one way of having this experience”, these dualistic interpretations of the world get presented as dictates.
And yes, this always ends up turning out badly somewhere down the line.
“Right” and “wrong” preclude “other”.
They preclude a “third way”.
They preclude “another”.
They preclude “different”.
Sadly, the world becomes much smaller for everyone as you eliminate the possibility of another experience showing up that might teach you invaluable lessons about yourself, the world, your needs, etc.
Right or wrong, black or white, fast or slow… these kinds of dualistic mentalities always indicate that you’ve regressed back into a younger emotional self inside.
They’re simplistic ways of trying to manage the world.
So, the next time that you begin to operate from this right or wrong way of thinking, see if you can catch yourself doing this. It might not be until after the fact, but hey, growing satisfaction in your life means growing awareness, even after the fact.
That’s the beauty of mental health and emotional wellness- it doesn’t know time.
So, if this happens, you might take a step back and recognize that this is a sign you’re regressed and no longer are quite the emotional adult you that you might hope to be.
And this is a fantastic time to begin to explore what’s happening deep inside so that you can grow.
If you begin to focus on what feels right, as opposed to what ought to be right, you’re going to end up right for you far more than you can possibly imagine.
It’s always time to grow.
Kate is an INFJ-3 on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram.