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Yohanes Tan

CEO , Tentu Creative

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What does my therapist means by Life is not only about right or wrong?

I just went through a depressing time. I spent around 4 months away from society, because most of the time, I will have epileptic seizures in public.

I am going through a lot therapy, and one particular session stand out and gives me a lot of time thinking and reflecting what my therapist said.

You are under a lot of stress because you only think there is only 2 side of the story : right or wrong. You need to learn to see that life is not only about right or wrong, but there is something in between. Therefore, you'll be under less stress.

Can anyone give me practical example of that?

My background is that I am from a very strict Catholic family. My personality is very liberal. I am torn between following their expectation and living my own life.

Thanks for the answers. I think what my therapist said was interesting for us all..

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    Nov 30 2013: Hi Yohanes

    The notion of right and wrong traps us between opposites and forces us to behave in predictable and guilt associated ways. Now, it does not mean that there is no right and wrong in itself, but going into a situation with the notion of right and wrong beforehand, means we are not free to appraise the situation factually.
    And the more we try to be right, the more frustrated we become because fear comes into it, the fear of being wrong and the need to be right all the time. Expectations drive us to predictable, neurotic behaviour.
    Epileptic seizures happen because you suppres the true "you" and behave in ways that are not natural for you. The more you suppress your true feelings, the more you feel estranged from yourself.
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    Dec 2 2013: Yohanes, I believe it is important for you to ask your therapist what he/she means whenever what he/she says is unclear. You are entitled to such explanations as part of the service this professional provides.

    In this case, I think you will find many examples of things not being either black or white. An example might be, when you try something new and challenging and it goes partly well and partly badly, do you rush always to call it either a success or a failure, or can you acknowledge mixed results?

    Another example might be, when you interact with someone who has good attributes but also some bad habits or dispositions, do you feel you need to label him in your mind as bad because he is not perfect? Good because he has good in him? Can he be somewhere in between to you?

    Some people have trouble making decisions because they are worried that an action they take might have some negative results along with the positive and that those negatives make it "wrong.". While recognizing and weighing these possibilities is useful, functional people typically need to accept that most actions are neither all good or all bad. If you worry greatly about imperfect consequences for every small decision, it can get pretty stressful. For example, when you are visiting your 100 year old grandma on her birthday and you are on a weight-loss diet, do you sample the bite of birthday cake she offers?
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    Dec 2 2013: i have no idea what did he/she meant. but i can tell that you should dismiss your parents' views in no time, you should not regard those any more important than any random individual's opinion. after all, they are two random individuals. you didn't choose them, they didn't choose you. the only way to measure something is through understanding, thinking and meditation. the source of the wisdom must not matter.