What if everything I do is right?
It sounds kind of silly, and I’m still working through the kinks of this idea and the dangerous places it could take me…but what if, aside from moral issues like lying, cheating, killing and stealing, what if everything I do is right? Not in a pretentious, superior way, but in a gentle, “I’m not doing anything wrong” kind of a way. It totally takes away the drama of what other people think.
This idea came up over the weekend when I was in tears over my husband not seeing my side of a disagreement. What eluded me up until now, was the reason why it always bothers me so much to feel misunderstood. The truth of it is that deep down, I wonder if they are right… and I am wrong.
What is it to be “wrong?” It may have a slightly different spin for any individual, but after doing a little research and a little soul searching, I determined that when I am wondering if I am wrong or not in a particular situation, stance, action or interpretation, it inevitably involves a correlation with a source outside of myself. The definitions that resonated most for me were the following:
“Action or conduct inflicting harm without due provocation or cause.”
“The state of being guilty.” (convicted by a jury who is not me)
“Done without accuracy.” (aka sloppy…shudder)
“Done without regard to what is proper or just.”
I’m sure this outside correlation started from natural development as a child looks to their parents to know what is right and wrong. It got further reinforced with religion, understanding good from evil. But as I am no longer a child, and the points I have in question are not those of “good and evil” but “okay and not bad”, the heaviness of “right and wrong” is simply not necessary and has caused massive amounts of undue stress. In fact, to use the word “wrong” seems completely incorrect!
For some reason, along the way, I took on the weight of a deviation in my behavior from someone else’s subjective standard as having the same heft as grave sin. In matters not of a serious moral nature, this is simply not the case. For the longest time, “failing in someone else’s eyes”, to whom I look up, has taken me to a place of public shame and heavy guilt, causing me to turn on myself and spiral. But now I must ask myself, what if, in my daily goings on, there was no such thing as wrong? What if it wasn’t wrong of me to play outside with the kids instead of clean, or work out instead of do laundry? What if it wasn’t a matter of moral weight that I let my kids watch a movie instead of invoking craft time?
Upon looking up the etymology of the word, “wrong,” it is described quite literally as “crooked,” the opposite to its counterpart, “right,” literally meaning, “straight.” So what if playing outside instead of cleaning the house was not a crooked, twisted action, but simply a different thing to choose. What if visiting with grandma instead of prepping food for tomorrow was just another straight path to take? What if letting the kids be rambunctious and messy was not failure as a wife, as I thought I was in the eyes of my husband, but simply the choice to let them be free in a safe space?
What if every time I did something that someone else would have done differently, it was also right…no one here is wrong. Prepping food for the next day is good, but so is seeing grandma. Playing outside is healthy and good, and so is the discipline and hygiene of a clean house. Allowing the kids to let loose allows freedom and creativity, and discipline and orderliness are also life skills that create stability. It’s a balance yes, but not of right and wrong – of right and right. Nothing is a loss, but we don’t want to be out of balance.
It’s going to take me time to internalize this, to allow it to sink in to the point of belief, but I think it is true and that there is freedom in this. And I so badly want to be free.
Now the flip side of this, of course, would be, what if everything “fill in the blank” does is right? I think I need to get used to this for myself first before I can generously expand upon it to others, but I want to. Life doesn’t need to be this battle of morals. Most of the time, it’s just people doing what they think is best or offering the best they can do in a particular moment, and that’s it. It’s not particularly thrilling, but our personal lives do not have to be such a drama. We have Netflix for that, damnit.