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Beautiful Young Woman Choosing Right and Wrong
Sat, November 1, 2014
The Right and Wrong Mentality: Is It Right for You?
The right and wrong mentality and I are having a fight. It thinks it's right. Go figure.

The basic problem isn't so much that my mind likes to constantly calculate what is right and what is wrong – about everything – the problem is more that it won't stop!
 
This is a problem because I am beginning to suspect that this kind of mental calculation actually narrows down the vastness of reality, the cornucopia of possibility that we all exist in, into two measly options: right and wrong, good and bad, black and white. It takes the multiplicity of any moment and makes it boringly binary.
 
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. In fact, the past three days have been an absolute hell as I notice myself incessantly working to prove myself right in every situation. This takes a tremendous amount of my energy! I'm running this constant mental calibration system, processing all incoming data and making sure that I am on the “right” side of all of it. The hellish part is that I can see how, for me, it is driven by an intense fear of ever being “wrong.” Ouch. I imagine that it is the depth and intensity of this fear that makes it so impossible to stop.
 
For instance, when people are talking I notice my mind constantly providing my own assessments of what they're saying by comparing my own experiences and pulling up reason after reason for why my assessment is right. It's down right exhausting.
 
Someone could be talking about breakfast cereal and why they like it and my mind immediately comes up with a position (they are right or wrong) and starts sifting though all that I've read, heard, and experienced to prove my point. Even if I know that I'm not going to make a comment, I have all of that internal research ready.
 
You do this about breakfast cereal? Really?
Yep. Really.
 
Actually, I've noticed that I do this about everything that gets spoken in my presence. Everything that I happen to read, or watch, any situation that I'm experiencing, and even the random thoughts that float through my head get this treatment. My mind is in constant motion.
 
It's compulsive.
 
Oh my gods, I think that I just realized that I am Obsessive Compulsive! I'm OCR (Obsessively Compulsively Right). Great. I wonder if I'll get a hospital wing named after my disorder.
 
I think that intellectually many people can accept the idea that there are more ways to think about things than right and wrong, black and white, good and bad. I can. I can also imagine that many of us would like to break the cycle of fear that keeps us treading this path over and over... We're probably all tired of being OCR.
 
What would thinking outside the box of right and wrong look like? What would keeping your mind open be like?

Creative Decision Making


One thing that you can do is to play with some thought experiments to discover this for yourself. You can use these to experience what your world can be like when you allow the cornucopia to be here in every moment.
 
  1. What If?
What if that breakfast cereal was good and bad? (right and wrong)
What if that breakfast cereal was neither good nor bad? (neither right nor wrong)
What if that breakfast cereal was really good right now and had the possibility of being not so good in two hours? In two minutes? In two seconds? Right now? (holding right and wrong lightly, allowing them to change and be fluid)
 
  1. Staying Open to All Ideas
What if there was no such thing as right and wrong and there was only the discussion of right and wrong for fun? Can you argue both sides of an issue and decide on neither? Let them both be true and not true, and also leave lots of open space for many, many other ideas?
 
  1. Lots Of Possibilities
Pick something you'd like to think about and write it at the top of a page, like this:
Should I eat whole bran flakes for breakfast?
 
Then write the numbers 1- 20 down the left side of the page and make a list of 20 reasons why and why not as they come into your head. Write down all of your ideas; the ones that you feel are realistic as well as the ones that feel crazy... allow all of them onto the paper. Go for creativity! See how interesting your list can be. The goal here isn't to convince yourself one way or the other (we're not trying to be OCR now) it is to open your mind to lots of possibilities. The goal is to realize that as infinitely creative beings we can actually come up with all kinds of reasons for anything if we allow ourselves, and how fun and creative that is!
 
The freedom to think like this allows for expansion and depth that simple binary right and wrong thinking does not.
 
(Note that writing down all of the numbers 1- 20 first will signal to your brain that you want it to come up with 20 reasons. It'll be much easier to do! Try this with any list you're making.)
 
My brain actually thanks me when I play like this. It's like cleaning out the cobwebs, opening the starting gate and letting the thing do its job! It LOVES it! Turns out the cornucopia is alive and well inside my head as well as out in the universe around me. How fun!

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