* Pondering – What’s Wrong?

man shouting out

I woke up this morning with a memory that is still with me. Whenever I hear something out of the ordinary like a loud bang, or a groan, or even an unexpected noise outside. I call out “What’s wrong?” 

This is an automatic knee jerk reaction of mine, and one I learned in my family growing up.

… No one ever asked “What’s right”?

The words we choose influence our thinking about the world around us.

“What’s wrong?” has an assumption and judgment that something out of the ordinary is wrong or is about to happen in a “bad” way. Its actually quite alarmist… and can put others on the defensive if they haven’t done anything wrong. I recall my brother saying “Nothing! I didn’t do anything wrong!!”

In my experience, more often than not, nothing is wrong. Its just life!

Something is happening that may or may not require my attention…. and I’ll find out soon if action is needed.

When we accept that life is a series of highs and lows, then nothing is wrong. It may be challenging and difficult but there is no right or wrong about it.

From now on I am going to remember to pause in the moment and ask  “What’s happening”? and take it from there 🙂

29 responses to “* Pondering – What’s Wrong?

  1. Pingback: * Pondering – What’s Wrong? | Find Your Middle Ground·

  2. Many thanks for this honest and insightful piece Val. It is very true that the words we use “influence our thinking”; they also reveal our thinking and beliefs too of course – and I’m certain you meant as much in any case.

    I reflected on the “what’s wrong?”/”What’s right?” dichotomy. Viewed one way, we could say using the former implies that everything’s in fact alright up to the point of the question, with everything being not alright prior to using the latter.

    Of course, in anxious people there can be an over-weaning assumption of catastrophe at every turn. Yet in the balanced individual – such as yourself – a certain realism of outlook holds sway, and ‘wrong’ may not necessarily connote ‘bad’.

    If we ask someone “what’s wrong?”, we may on the whole be going into their frame of reference, not using our own. We’re picking up that they’ve made a judgment which we ourselves may not share. It’s perhaps empathic, and kindly.

    On the other hand, if we were to ask someone “what’s right?”, it would likely be very revealing of our own outlook! I wonder, does the person suffering extreme anxiety in fact think to themselves “what’s right?” about others?

    Hariod ❤

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Such an interesting dichotomy Hariod! Our words reveal our thinking as well as influence it 🙂
    I agree – a fearful person will always be on guard … and may not be able to see what’s right. And others will interpret our words in their own frame of reference.
    No wonder communication is so hard sometimes!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Val, I know exactly where you are coming from, and agree with your core message (and enjoyed Hariod’s reply). But humans and many animals are ‘hard-wired’ to be alarmed by a sudden, unfamiliar sound or event. It’s what keeps us safe from harm, the fight or flight response.

    Thus one could argue that an instantaneous “What’s wrong” reaction is right all along!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Paul for joining in. Good stuff!
      We are all hard wired into our reptilian brain … But we humans have the ability to transmit the message to our neocortex in just one or two breaths! That’s a huge difference between us and other mammals. With this pause we can choose our response… and different words.

      Like

  5. Love this post and discussion, Val. It made me think…my childhood was tough and I am sure if someone asked what’s wrong on a daily basis I could have given them quite a few answers. So, I wonder if there was something “wrong” with my entire first years of life! And how does that shape a human? I agree that right/wrong is a judgment call and as I walk through this life and gain understanding and try very hard to resist making any judgments at all…I completely agree with you and will ask “What is happening?”

    Thanks for pointing out another way in which I “judge.” The saying, “It is, what it is,” used to annoy me so much because I felt helpless without control over situations. Now I lean on this saying and I even find comfort in letting go of my need to change things…especially when I can’t!

    Much love to you, Val….have a super weekend! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I was thinking ‘what up?’ which is something the kids were saying when my daughter was younger. And the response was usually, ‘iz all good in the hood’ 🙂

    It’s funny how we’re conditioned to respond in certain ways, isn’t it Val? Like the way we automatically say fine when someone asks how we’re doing. People actually double-take if you respond with something other than fine, and some don’t know what their next move should be if you don’t say fine. ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good thoughts, Val.

    When I hear something loud, I usually call out, “Are you OK?” If I get a “Yes, everything’s fine. I just dropped something,” I leave it at that.

    If not, I investigate.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I came from a “What’s wrong” upbringing too, hard to break sometimes ha. Just becoming aware that we even say it is a great start! “Whats Amazing and Perfect?” My life! Maybe a New Year sentence to replace “What’s wrong” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • So much comes from our conditioning Elizabeth. Seeing opportunities is an internal shift in our mindset that comes with awareness. Thank you doe adding to the converstion E!

      Like

  9. Great post, Val! I used to be quite an “alarmist” when I was younger, but have calmed down quite a bit by time. Now when I hear a noise I don’t assume much, but investigate it if I don’t recognize it …as my hubby dropping something on the floor 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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