One of the grounding guidelines for the Witchy Healer Program for Healers with a Fundamentalist Background, is an agreement to practice engaging this statement:
I have this thought (and it might be wrong)…
Why? In my experience growing up in a Christian fundamentalist home, there is always a ‘right’ way for (well, everything). If you don’t say/act/be the right thing/way, you are likely to be punished, shamed, or shunned in some way.
This places incredible pressure on a person to always know what is right and to do/say the right thing. There is no room for error, for experimentation, for risk taking, or for learning from mistakes.
That’s one aspect of it. Here’s another:
Another aspect is that right now we live in a time of extremely polarizing beliefs, points of view, and ideologies. We live in a world where one person’s truth can not only be radically different but even the polar opposite of another’s.
Being willing to play with ‘and I might be wrong’ in relation to any and all thoughts we have about (well, anything) goes a long way towards disrupting this polarization.
It injects a bit of humility into the conversation (whether with others or within our own minds); allows for the possibility that even though this is how I see things, I’m willing to consider other viewpoints. Further, it opens the door for more of a dialogue among people who have different life experiences and therefore view the world, including current events, from a different perspective.
Even if a person is absolutely convinced that their way of seeing things is the absolute truth (see how this ties into fundamentalism?), being willing to add ‘and I could be wrong…’ softens the conversation and creates more space…
More space to actually listen to another, more space for the other to feel safe expressing what feels true for them in the moment, more space for something other than two opposing views to emerge.
Will you play with me?
- Think about something that you are adamant is truth. It might be a thought or a judgment (that thing that person did was horrible and wrong); it might be a belief (people who don’t wear masks are selfish and endangering me/others; people who wear masks are sheeple); it might be a perspective on some political candidate or issue.
- Whatever it is, bring it to mind and say: ‘I have this thought, and I might be wrong, that…. (say the thought/belief/perspective).’
- Notice… how does that feel? What happens in your body? How much (if at all) do you resist the ‘and I might be wrong’ part?
No judgement here…
All of this is just an experiment, a way to (perhaps) practice becoming a bit more fluid in our own minds and beliefs. As I see it, if we hold judgements about how others see the world and/or want others to think/believe/behave more like us, a possible first step is a softening of the judgements/thoughts that WE hold.
I have this thought/belief/perspective (and it might be wrong)…. is a powerful way to begin to interject a dose of softness and openness into a conversation… beginning with ourselves.
How does this land for you?
I’m open to your thoughts and perspectives here. I’m grateful for your wisdom and the life experiences that have brought us together, in this way, in this moment. Thank you.
ps. gratitude to one of my mentors, Pixie Lighthorse, for introducing this phrase in a class I took with her nearly a decade ago.
pps. The wonderful Judy Murdoch of pocketofserenity.com interviewed me for her Golden Thread Conversations podcast. Want to know a bit more about the golden thread I’ve been following for these past two + decades and how much work is currently evolving? Listen in!