Right Versus Wrong

by Angela Clark

It’s a notion I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, right versus wrong, ever since my daughter was born. Am I doing this right? Did we do that all wrong? She laughs and smiles a lot – I must be doing something right. She doesn’t sleep through the night – I must be doing something wrong. It’s never ending.

It’s a topic that has been tackled by many a great thinker. One view that has helped me in the past when making tough decisions (like, “is quitting this job the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do?) is to remove the words “right” or “wrong”  from the equation. Rather, look for the best choice for this moment. Of course the only way to know what is the best decision for the moment is to be present enough with that moment. A challenge no matter where you are in your life and why we have practices such as yoga and meditation.

In trying not to make something or someone right or wrong, Pema Chodron advises that we walk the middle path. She says in her book, When Things Fall Apart:

This middle way involves not hanging on to our version so tightly. It involves keeping our hearts and minds open long enough to entertain the idea that when we make things wrong, we do it out of a desire to obtain some kind of ground or security. Equally, when we make things right, we are still trying to obtain some kind of ground or security…

As I watch my conceptual mind figure out how to be a new mother in this right versus wrong battle, I realize that as I apply the teachings to my life, what I am really seeking is some kind of security and confidence in my ability to provide for another’s well being. Not what is right or what is wrong, but what is best for us in this moment.

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