The freedom to choose…
“Would you rather be right or free?” ~Byron Katie
As we flow through this life with its ups and downs, roundabouts and crossroads, we are taught to make right choices. To pick the right way. To do the right thing. To be right in the eyes of family, friends and society. Right being not ‘wrong’. Right being not ‘bad’. The conditioned mind defends its rightness, first to itself and then to others.
Have you ever found yourself telling a story in your mind of why you are right and another is wrong? Have you heard yourself repeat your story to family, friends and whomever else will listen? And of course most will agree. We affirm each-others rightness thus strengthening the self-defense mechanism of the mind. Defending the self locks this perceived rightness a little deeper into the conditioned mind. A mind which carries the past into each present moment. A mind that has been taught what is right and what is wrong. A mind that sees things from its own perspective for each mind exists in its own world. Each mind the center of its own universe.
It has occurred to me that this rightness is a deep illusion. As a child my Dad would tell me I wasn’t right; I was half right and half left! In this world of opposites, why do we put wrong opposite to right and set it in stone? Do we cast the stone of rightness at another when we view them as being wrong, or can we take the time to stop and see that in casting this stone, we are wrong? If you have to make someone else wrong for you to be right, are you right at all?
Being right only by the self, or by the family, or by the society, race, nation – how can it be right if it means you have to make someone else wrong? It’s this separation, this division that creates war. Peace can only be achieved when we can see the sameness.
Observer your mind
Observe your mind when you see judgement arise. When you start to see why someone is wrong, take a breath and look for the separation. What is it that you see? Come to the root of your thoughts and look beyond what you have been taught. Try to see past your conditioning. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself or another for regardless of your sex, age, nationality, color, size, shape – you are human. The other is human too.
See the sameness
When you can see that sameness, look back to yourself. Look at the judgement you wish to place on the other. Can you remember a time in your life when you were judged in this way – either by yourself or by another.
In each moment, you have a choice. You can choose to to be locked in your conditioned mind or you can choose to understand. You can choose compassion. You can offer compassion to the other and in doing so, you can show compassion to yourself. In choosing freedom from your conditioning, you are offering freedom to the other and to all.
Let go of the past
Let go of past bad decisions and give yourself the freedom to make decisions that are not just right by the self, family, society, race, nationality or creed, but are right by everyone. By being right by all, by the human race, we can make this world a more peaceful place. We can be truly free, dropping the past completely and moving forward from now, one moment at a time, one choice at a time.