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.
Let’s go. It doesn’t matter where we’re going. It’s enough to know that we’ll find that out along the way.
I am privileged that in the summertime, there are a flock of Mississippi Kites that migrate into my neighborhood and entertain us overhead.
One of my most favorite things to do is to float in our pool and watch these beautiful birds flying, high in the sky. What is so amazing about them is that sometimes they fly so high, they are only specks in the distance.
Then a short time later, they return down closer to the earth and I can make out the outlines of their bodies again, their narrow, pointed wings flapping as they soar over air drafts. These birds are so graceful that it almost appears as if they are floating in the air.
They take to the skies with no destination in mind, other than to fly. The aerial show, from the ground, is breathtaking. It seems that for these birds, flying, being aloft, is the ultimate goal. Not where they are going.
So often, we as humans, confuse our time on Earth, with obsessions about what we’ve accomplished, where we are going, and what purposeful thing we are going to do next.
We get hyper focused on outside world results and silence our inner needs to love, to be loved, to learn, to know the truth of our spirit, until we can somehow be assured that these efforts will take us somewhere.
We put all our life force into making sure that these endeavors will result in tangible and productive results, so much so, that by the end of our days, our weeks, our months and our years, we are exhausted and feel disconnected from meaning.
All of these conditions, hesitations, yes-buts and what ifs completely turn our human journey upside down, never letting the heart, wing that it is, truly unfold.
It’s so interesting, because as I observe the birds, they respond into flight, only and simply by the presence of light that stirs them to flight and to song. They don’t consider concepts such as holding back or only investing if the return seems certain.
In this, humans are some of the only creatures that seek out guarantees, certainties, and in doing so, work against our hearts. We snuff out the spark of our aliveness in each of our denials of what draws us closer towards it, energizes our experience of need, whether from a place of curiosity or necessity.
Try as much as you might to imagine, construct direction, to plan and know what this life ought to be, it is the pulse of our heart itself that connects you higher into your spirit.
In truth, the wings of birds don’t grow any differently to fit north, south, east or west. Our deepest frequency of aliveness inside each of us, is more fundamental in showing our true direction than any direction of worldly ambition.
We, like the birds, are meant to fly and sing- to love and to be loved- to evolve into a higher place than when we came into this world. That’s all. All the rest: our plans, visions, goals, and schemes are like the twigs of the nest that once outgrown, we leave for bigger things.
For this experiment, here are the steps:
Some of you may already know this, but for those of you who do not, May is Mental Health Awareness month!!!!
I always love this month, not only because May is historically quite beautiful here in Saint Louis, MO, but also because mental health is my ‘jam!!!!
Mental and emotional health is my thing; it’s one of the things that I most love to give
energy too in both my personal and professional lives!
And I didn’t know this, but Mental Health Awareness month was started in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization and has consistently been celebrated since then, in the month of May.
So, this has been happening for a very long time. Way cool.
I guess it’s just only becoming more noticeable as mental health is becoming less
I was talking the other day about mental health diagnoses, and how, as a licensed mental health clinician, I believe that people are often mis-diagnosed with mental health illness as a result of the limitations of our western approach to medicine.
Let me explain.
In the western approach to medicine, there is an over-emphasis on pharmaceutical
intervention and treatment interventions based upon what the managed care driven
systems *deem* evidence-based and they are willing to reimburse.
Providers want to deliver the outcomes that insurance companies recognize as
legitimate for reimbursement.
What this means is that insurance companies are dictating clinical treatment and
interventions based upon evidence based outcomes in order to receive reimbursement.
And because of this limitation, sometimes there is no language to apply to situations
where a person might not necessarily have mental illness, but they are struggling.
Especially if it is not of an evidence-based type of struggle.
I tend to agree wholeheartedly with Carl Jung, who believed that most of people’s
distress was related to the fact that they had lost connection with their spirit.
Unfortunately, one losing their connection with their spirit is difficult to quantify or speak
about in any sort of evidence-based way that an insurance company would recognize.
That said, it looks a lot like depression, Bipolar, anxiety and can manifest in a myriad of
ways such as through addictions, adjustment disorders, low functioning, hyperactivity,
difficulty concentrating or following through, forgetfulness and so on.
Bottom line, when you’ve lost your connection with your spirit, you are going to struggle.
And the longer your struggle goes on, i.e., the longer you miss that the real issue is
disconnection from your spirit, the more intense the difficulty in your life becomes.
It happens this way because that’s the only way you’re going to recognize that something important needs to happen if we’re going to find the peace and satisfaction that everyone is looking for in their lives.
Sadly, our mental health care system does not have the language or perspective to
understand this and so instead uses mental health diagnosis to dictate how a person
must be clinically treated in order to “manage” their symptoms and have a functional life.
To be clear, I’m not saying that mental health diagnoses are a bad thing.
I know that for many people, having a paradigm or a lens through which you can
understand more about what’s going on in your life, can help you feel less alone, less
overwhelmed. It can bring you relief.
Part of being human is to crave certainty and information in order to understand.
What I am suggesting is that rather than quickly putting a mental health diagnosis label
on your struggle, what if you were not mentally ill, but rather undergoing a deeper
evolution in your essence?
What if your struggle was about growing into the next dimension of your aliveness?
You know the story about the caterpillar and why it’s so challenging for them to get out
of the chrysalis, right? It’s because the struggle to get out of this tightly enclosed space is
exactly what has to happen to get the blood flowing in their wings so that they can fly...…..into the next phase of their life as a butterfly.
What if that is what your struggle is really about?
What if you’re really starting to become a butterfly right now and you are breaking out of
your own emotional chrysalis, that has been very important and necessary for you to get
to where you are at this critical moment in your life?
What if instead of breaking down, you are actually breaking open?
And that this breaking open has to happen in this way, at this time, for reasons that your
brain may never, ever know. Your heart will and does though. I promise.
All growth is counterintuitive. It’s going to look and feel exactly like the opposite of what
you think it will be.
Trust me, I know from both personal and professional experience on this one.
Even though this struggle is the next step in your growth, and the exact thing that has to
happen in order for you to find your way back to who you were designed to be in this
lifetime, you still get to have feelings about it for sure.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, scared, anxious, confused, uncertain, uncomfortable, stuck, irritable, or just downright agitated, it sure as heck sounds like it’s your time to grow. Reach out.
Each of us has to have connections in our growth process. That’s the only way you’re
going to get to where you need to go in order to reconnect to your spirit.
It’s in finding your way back to your spirit, in this next phase of your growth, that your
peace and satisfaction will follow.
#timetogrow #caterpillar #butterfly #transformationcounselingllc
Kate is an INFJ-3 on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram.