Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase
doesn’t make any sense.
A few weeks ago J (my girlfriend, partner, lover, whatever you want to call her… I call her ‘baby’ most of the time. She’s asked not to be called ‘beloved’ because it’s creepy) asked me what I thought my big lesson was in this lifetime. I couldn’t answer right away, which was frustrating because my emotional superpower is supposed to be discovering the learning opportunity in every moment (especially the shitty ones), but ultimately at the time I was hijacked and feeling defensive and not wanting to talk about learning as much as I was interested in complaining. But… what i came up with (that true self really pushes through some tough shit sometimes) is what stuck as I’ve asked myself over and over since that day:
There is no such thing as right or wrong.
I’ve been pretty clear about this for other people, and their choices, for a LONG time. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t saying “to each his/her own” with complete acceptance in response to things that others found outrageous. I certainly have my moments when I have wanted someone else to be “wrong” (ahem, ex husband), but that was more about wanting to feel “right” than anything else… which is what this is really still about for me.
Anytime I get fearful, it’s because I’m afraid of doing something “wrong.” Anytime I get defensive, it’s because I think someone’s telling me I’m “wrong.” Anytime I [insert undesirable emotional experience here] it’s connected to a sense of “wrong”-ness. Even though I know there’s no such thing as “right” or “wrong,” I’ve read Rumi… I don’t KNOW it. I don’t feel it completely in my bones. I don’t have confidence in it. I don’t trust it. Yet the opportunity to do so keeps presenting itself…
I’ve had an emotionally exhausting week… I found out my son, who as you know has struggled in school since Kindergarten started last year, got accepted to another school where he’ll likely soar. I knew it intuitively from the moment they told me they had a space for him. Still, the fear of “wrong”ness held me back for a couple days, then the fear of looking “wrong” to staff/other parents at his current school when I told them the news paralyzed me, and now that he’s there and thriving two days in I am holding my breath waiting to hear that I was “wrong” for some reason I haven’t thought of yet. And I’m exhausted. I tried going to bed last night at 8:00p.m. to cure it–didn’t work. Tonight I bawled through 40 minutes of yoga–I’m feeling a touch better. But besides the tears shaken loose from my left shoulder and right hip… an idea came.
I’m better (define that however you want) when I have a project. My ability to take advantage of my emotional superpower and my writing are better when they’re focused. I will wear sweatpants in public was a great year for me (not easy–just great). Since it’s ended, I’ve felt lost. Too many options is not helpful to me, I get overwhelmed and can’t do anything… I thrive in structure. Oh, how I WISH that writing a damn book could feel like a project right now… I’d love to write a book. But it doesn’t. At least not in a traditional sense. So, what to do?
How about another blog project? Yes? YES!
Starting today… my newest blog project/writing project/life project begins. You can totally join in (and you also don’t have to. i get the appeal of voyeurism… I’m convinced it will make me rich someday).
THE PROJECT: Just Lessons… (because there is no right or wrong, just lessons).
How it will work (in 10 simple steps–I know 10 is too many steps, but it makes a nice list):
1. Every evening I will take a few moments to reflect on what I learned that day as an opportunity to dissolve any sense of “right”-ness or “wrong”-ness into a lesson learned (or just introduced, because learned implies that I won’t need to re-learn it often… which I undoubtedly will)
2. At least once a week I will blog about the lessons (maybe a long post about a big one, maybe mini posts about little ones, probably a few lists, probably a few weeks where I’ll give myself a vacation)
3. I’ll post on Facebook and Twitter more often (maybe even daily! ooh!) with the hashtag #justlessons
4. You’ll read.
5. You might even comment.
6. Again, you MIGHT even feel compelled to share your own… choose your own format for doing so.
7. I’ll learn stuff.
8. I’ll feel like I’m doing what I’m on this planet to do.
9. That will feel good.
10. I’ll probably lose weight (just like IWWSPIP, that’s not a goal… but I betcha it will happen…)
See you around, folks. xo