Duality is SneakyMar 17, 2021
Within any given moment, an opportunity to experience joy or pain is right there amid life. Depending upon your prejudice, history, focus, or tendencies, you will seek out and experience joy or notice the pain and limitation of life. All of this happens in the flash of a thought, a nanosecond in time.
This happens so quickly and often appears to be so logical that we do not question it because it seems real according to our human ways of measuring life. Let’s take this experience and oversimplify it for the point of this conversation. We tend to separate things into two experiences: Right and Wrong. And, with this oversimplification, we make people and ourselves right or wrong. Any tendency to place experience or a person into one of these categories causes us to create a chasm within ourselves that becomes harder and harder to heal over time. The effort to undo right and wrong takes way more effort because of the inertia associated with it.
Why would we go through such an effort to transcend these tendencies? Freedom, freedom is why! With every judgment where we are certain that someone or something is wrong. There is a weight to carrying these judgments. Freedom from all of this assessment will leave us freer, lighter, and more open.
The best way to heal this duality is to not create it, to begin with. So, depending upon where one is on the timeline of your life, this effort will take more or less focus on your part, but always worth the effort. Below are some suggestions to use in your own life and to use in influencing friends and family.
- Replace curiosity with judgment. Curiosity is the cure for judgment. Where curiosity exists, judgment cannot, and the lines between right and wrong will immediately blur. So, if you feel tempted to fall on one side of the story or another in assessing right or wrong, ask yourself these questions: what is actually happening here? What is the call for love? What is trying to be healed?
- If you are a parent or grandparent or one who has any influence over children and how they think, learn to ask them questions that lead them to think about why they think what they think. Ask them questions like: What do you think about that? How do you feel about that? Etc.
- When listening to another, especially when they are seeking for you to agree with their strong opinion or upset, say something like wow, that’s interesting, or that’s surprising, or wow, you seem to feel very strongly about this subject. All these options allow you to leave this individual feeling heard, but you will not be colluding with their pain and story.
- In general, resist the temptation to assign right or wrong anywhere. Humans are complicated creatures with needs that are equally complicated. Oversimplify anything with right or wrong, and you will miss the nuances that make us precious and special.
Rev. Dr. Michelle Wadleigh
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