mental freedom
Photo by Junior Moran on Unsplash

Truth Seekers

I often look at the many observances in a month for ideas of what to blog about. For the first time, I noticed two in March that grabbed my attention: Everything You Think is Wrong Day on March 15 and Everything You Do is Right Day on March 16. That strange juxtaposition sparked something within me, and I began to wonder, what if everything I think is wrong? How would my life be different? Maybe I’d be more open-minded, making it a priority to question myself and my perceptions. It could encourage me to be more accepting of people with different ideas—if mine are all wrong, maybe someone else’s might be right. I think I would become a seeker of truth.

This is completely consistent with what I teach in my Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging work. Our thoughts are not always our own. We have been collecting information from other people our entire life. It begins with our family, followed by extended family, then the people we encounter in school, and beyond. Eventually, we get to choose the people we live with, forming our own microculture before the cycle begins again.

We learn the difference between right and wrong, good and bad—teachings that are determined by the people teaching us. If their thoughts were wrong all along, then the foundation of everything we think and believe is compromised.

When do we start to develop our own thinking independently from other people? Do we ever do that? Can we create independent thoughts in a vacuum? I believe it’s possible but incredibly rare. We are beings who need other people for our very existence. How can our thoughts be completely disconnected from the people who raised us, taught us, played with us, and worked with us? How can we know that what we think is right and what someone else thinks is wrong or vice versa?

We cannot know for certain because it’s always possible that what we think is wrong, or at the very least, just an opinion, no better or worse than any other person’s opinion.

As a counselor who is certified and specializes in trauma, I find it interesting that encountering opinions that contradict our own can have us choosing one of the four documented trauma responses—fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. Which is your go-to behavior during disagreements? Do you choose to fight or avoid people who have different thoughts than you? Do you freeze, refusing to speak about controversial topics for fear of engaging in conflict? Or do you fawn by agreeing with people just so they won’t dislike you? Why is it traumatizing to encounter people with different thoughts than we have? I believe it plays into our insecurity of being found out as someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about. It feels like an existential threat to our very being.

There is a fifth option. We can become explorers who are inquisitive about varying thoughts and opinions, always questioning our own thoughts with a willingness to hear the thoughts of others, even allowing their thoughts to potentially shape and mold our own.

This day is followed on March 16 by Everything You Do is Right Day, a concept that is easily explained by the GLOW session in Mental Freedom, which considers how everything in life resembles the energy in the periodic table of elements: All elements in the naturally occurring world have an equal positive and negative charge, or the same number of protons as electrons. The same is true for situations in our lives. When you embrace this balance in the Universe, it becomes easy to see that you cannot do anything wrong.

Everything you do and everything that happens to you has the same amount of positivity and negativity associated with it, so you can’t do anything wrong. If you choose something with negative consequences, those negative consequences are accompanied by the same amount of positivity. However, you may not be able to see it initially due to the human brain’s innate hardwiring for negativity. Looking over the course of your life, can you recognize that the adversity, trauma, and “mistakes” you’ve made are the source of so much knowledge, strength, and resilience? How could any path be wrong when it results in benefits like those? If you had chosen the better, perhaps safer path, your life might have been easier, but you would have become a different person, spared the adversity but also the benefits.

In conclusion, I am choosing to stay curious and humble with my thinking while being open to alternative views. When it comes to the things I do, I plan to be fearless. There are no wrong paths, only lessons to be learned. Want to join me?

Leave a Reply