“You’re WRONG!” The words hit me like an attack. My entire focus turned inward, questioning what about me was wrong. Thankfully, I have enough training that I’m rarely triggered by these episodes for very long.
After all, how could I be ‘wrong?’ I am me; what I am cannot be wrong.
The outburst was about an opinion I had expressed. Again, my opinion is my opinion; an opinion cannot be wrong. It may differ from everyone else’s, but it is not wrong, merely different.
In the moment, I laughed and asked, “How am I wrong?”
In the end, it was agreed that our opinions differed. Not taking it personally allowed communication to happen. We found our opinions were not nearly as different as originally suspected.
Right and wrong are interesting concepts. I used to really believe life was as black and white as right and wrong. Then I met Mason.
Mason was a successful businessman. He had many irons in the fire, and tended them all quite well. He had stress in his life, which is why he saw me, but when it came to business, he was all aces.
Having my own business, I loved to question him about his business practices. Thankfully, he took great delight in my questions.
One day, the topic turned to how to get employees to do things right.
“I always tell my people one thing: There are twenty ways to do anything, five of them are right. Pick one of the five and do it!” he exclaimed.
My poor head slanted sideways and went into a spin. I understood the words, but FIVE ways to do it right? It had been drilled into me that there is one right and everything else is wrong. The people who drilled that into me were not financially successful. Mason was. I decided to go with success.
I meditated on the thought for a few days as it rooted out the old patterns in my thinking habits. As I began to accept that there was more than one right way, I relaxed my viselike grip on my business. My employees began to show signs of relaxing, too. I started hearing laughter in the office.
Changes started happening in profit margins, too.
As my employees stopped worrying about doing something wrong, they relaxed and became more willing to make recommendations to our customers. Customers who get better information are more willing to commit to a course of action. Not only that, referrals to my business increased even more.
As I became more open to multiple ways of accomplishing anything, my employees started bringing their ideas to me on how to improve the business.
Changing that one little thought resulted a huge win, all the way around.
There is a quote from Rumi that I love:
“Out beyond right and wrong, there is a field. I will meet you there.”
That field is a glorious place. We are neither right nor wrong. Each one of us is an essence of the Divine perfume. Coming together to celebrate what each of us has to offer makes life a Divine gift.
I’ll meet you there.