The Illusion of Wrong and Bad
Lisa, a dear friend of mine, recently lost her dog to old age. Anyone who has ever lost a four-legged family member knows the heartache this brings. It feels as if your heart has been ripped out of your chest without being administered anesthetic. It is a painful, life-changing experience, indeed. I called Lisa to see how she was doing. She told me she was okay, but she was sleeping a lot. I said, “That’s okay. You must need it.” She replied, “I don’t have time to sleep that much, though. I have things to do.” She added, “There must be something wrong with me. It’s not good for me to sleep so much.”
As I listened to my friend, I could hear this stress within her that was coming from an almost robotic place. I find that so many of us have a similar situation going on in our lives. Our bodies say we need to rest, but this robot in our mind, disconnected from our inner intelligence, says do, do, do. It makes taking care of ourselves wrong or bad.
There are many things that happen in our lives that we judge as wrong or bad. And we do the same to other people, judging them as wrong or bad. But, what is wrong or bad? Is taking care of yourself, sleeping a little more when you are dealing with challenging life events, wrong? Hardly. Is the way someone dresses or the opinions they have wrong or bad? Definitely not. We are trained to see life this way, but it’s not true. This point of view creates a massive amount of unnecessary stress, unhappiness and disconnection in our lives. It is time to heal from this misperception of life. It is time for us to experience the grace in being neutral.
A Neutral State of Mind
We have been trained to look at ourselves and the world through a system of opposites. For instance, we think in terms of happy/sad, bully/victim and love/hate. This system is also known as duality. Duality comes about as a divine experience that includes the mind, the body and the whole universe, of which each of us is in integral, interconnected part. However, we are not able to experience the part we play in the creation of the universe because the body is the barrier to that deeper understanding of our truest nature. This missing connection between the mind and our inability to directly experience the universe is where duality is created.
This missing connection creates relative and absolute truths. What I mean by this is everything is true and untrue based on perception. So, the happy person is also the sad person. The bully is also the victim and the one who loves is also the one who hates. There is no separation of anything. It is all opposite ends of the same pole, so to speak. Likewise, one hundred people would have one hundred different experiences of the same event. Understanding duality is important because this allows us to see that no one is right or wrong and good or bad; instead it’s all okay. Below is an example to illustrate this perspective.
The True Color of the Flower
“I see a flower, it is turquoise. A colorblind man sees a flower, it is light-green. A dog sees a flower it is dark blue. A blind man doesn’t see the flower. A woman born with more cone photoreceptors in her eyes can see a spectrum of more colors: she says it’s “_____” (not yet identified color). They are all looking at the same flower. These are all relative observations, so who is to conclusively describe the color of the flower? Nobody. Not a single one knows the true color of the flower, but at the same time they all know the color of the flower. The flower is all colors, and it is but one.”[i]
Every experience we have on the planet passes through our mind’s idea of life, which is skewed and can only create a misperception of true events. But, to each person, those events seem real. So, each person sees the colors as real and false at the same time. What is the true color of the flower? Who knows which color is correct? The absolute answer to this is found in the fabric of universal consciousness .¨ a place the mind does not understand. Adopting a position of neutrality will get us close, though, because in the place where universal consciousness exists, everything is okay.
Let’s go back to Lisa’s bad sleeping situation. Upon further discussion with Lisa, I found out that she goes to bed at 10pm when her husband goes to bed. She doesn’t read or wind down because he can’t sleep with the light on. Not feeling tired, she lays awake until 1am many nights. I asked her why she isn’t tired. She said she didn’t know. Then she told me she gets up at 6:45am every morning to see her husband off to work. Before he pulls out of the driveway, she is back in bed fast asleep. She wakes around 10 or 11am. Aha! She doesn’t go to sleep at 10pm with her husband because she’s not tired.
I suggested to Lisa that she can’t expect herself to fall fast asleep like her husband does for the simple fact that she gets 4-5 hours more sleep than he does. To resolve Lisa’s position of stress regarding her sleep, I suggested two things. One: I suggested she doesn’t go back to bed when her husband leaves for work. That way she will be more likely to be tired at 10pm when they go to bed. Two, and this is a biggie: I suggested to her not to judge sleeping or not sleeping one way or the other. So, it’s not bad to sleep long hours and it’s not bad to stay awake until 1am. Instead, it’s all okay. Taking a position of neutrality stops her from adding a lot of unnecessary stress to the issue of sleep. Stressing about it isn’t helping her sleep, but it may also be the reason she sleeps so much. It all depends on how you look at it .¨ just like the flower.
Adopting a position of neutrality lets us, others and life situations off the hook. There is no stress over something that is okay. We can’t hate someone who is okay and we can’t be unhappy if our lives are okay. This is peace, this is grace.
There is nothing on the planet that deserves a reaction, though we are taught the opposite .¨ to react to everything. But, we have plenty of evidence that reacting, judging and the stress created in this state of mind is not helpful to us or healthy for us. Start today. Practice saying, “That’s okay” as much as you can. Let other people’s opinions be okay. Let the way they solve a problem be okay. Let it all be okay. You will feel the difference in your mind, body and soul. Enjoy.
This article is dedicated to my dear four-legged friends who have recently passed: Poopy and Izzy. We love you!
[i] Unknown Author, The Nature of Duality, http://www.highexistence.com/the-nature-of-duality/, Accessed 30 October 2015.