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What is the meaning behind “right” or “wrong” anyway?
My father always used to say, “Rebekah, forget about right and wrong. It is either functional or dysfunctional.” And sometimes you have to look deep at the function because what works for one person doesn’t always suit another. So, what it boils down to is a Bible verse: “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive (I Corinthians 10:23).
Is it just the outcome that counts?
The thing about outcomes or consequences or even endings is that they are actually fake. Things like breakups, divorces, graduations, moving, or even dying are all just phases. Some things are stages as in they build on each other and other things are just long periods of experimenting with the power of creation—a phase.
Either way you slice it, actions are being taken.
So, let’s say that you want revenge on someone or that you want them back after they dumped you.
There is a common judgement that both of these things are bad or wrong. As far as taking revenge, the justification is circumstantial. Think of Robin Hood. Second, I could host a seminar on wanting to get back with your ex.
For the purposes of this discussion, there is nothing wrong with that.
What matters most is what you do with these “goals.” They can be the carrot on the end of the stick that gets you off your lazy a** and into the gym. In fact, your whole perspective of the way you want to be in the world could go through a major shift—in a constructive direction.
Know your “why.” Why do you want to get revenge, fix what’s broken, or dig up the past?
Nine times out of ten, people do this because it is familiar. We base our identities in what is familiar: friends, family, traditions, religion, addiction, or obsession. By the way, obsession is an addiction. The moment thoughts become so repetitive that they form an obsession, the addiction begins.
All addictive behaviors have lack at their core—the perpetual ache of trying to fill a void.
But, what if at your core, you start making choices that actually nourish you?
Let’s say you want to get those bitches back that were so mean to you in high-school by making a bunch of money. Or, you decide to really live your life to prove to your ex that he or she is missing out. Maybe, you get really pissed off at the economic gap or the way the environment is treated so you invent something that shifts both towards collaboration, connection, and sustainability.
The void or shame may be the core of addiction—and the core of change is rebellion.
Trust me, at one time or another, in life we are all phoenixes; we are all supernovas. We will all be burned by the fire of knowledge, then having to rise from the ashes anew. We will all explode into a new level of being when the circumstances are relevant.
In this way, the why does not matter, the event doesn’t matter, but the phase is noteworthy.
So, are you getting a divorce or are you exploding into another phase of your existence? How is the stage of your current unfolding informing your future desires? Are you ready to take right action for you, or would you rather go down in a blaze of glory?
Simply, we all have desires and desired outcomes. Another way to say this is that it is necessary to choose the experiences you would like to receive. Some people want a lot of money but spend more time bitching about how they don’t have it.
So, they haven’t actually chosen to receive it.
Basically, we can all be motivated by either pain or pleasure. We all have a tendency to categorize things as right or wrong, good or bad, and this or that. These judgements can keep us separate from the outcome if we focus on the absence of the desired experience.
Sometimes the pain of breaking up will spur us to realize that we are ready to focus on what we actually want and not be so sloppy with our attention. Other times, the pleasure of an imagined reward will help us grind through shitty circumstances.
At the end of the day, if you are taking action in a way that is benefiting your well-being, that action is contributing to the collective in a positive way, and you are just better for it; the reason doesn’t matter.
So, you can take “right” action for the “wrong” reasons. Pain or pleasure may be your motivation. Either way, in each moment you are in constant negotiations. In life, all things come in trade.
Sometimes, we have to cut our losses to experience our gains.
Gratitude is the great equalizer.
Your thoughts are the constant measure.
The reason is a phase. The actions are stages.
And in the end you can always choose something else.
Author: Rebekah McClaskey
Editor: Renée P.