i remember thinking that this would be easy to write about when i jotted it down. in your right mind. ptom and i had discussion about being in your right mind; michael gerson had written part of a column about being in right mind….surely i would have something of depth to say.
now that this is sitting right in front of me, i find that it’s not so easy to articulate. or maybe it’s territory that feels too revealing, too human.
the moments when calm finally comes after the storm of anger and you are -again- in your right mind. the moments of blind dire panic of imagined-worst-case-scenario when your right mind eludes you and something else takes over until the adrenalin rush eases up and you can see again. the moments when absolute white-knuckled-fear precedes the back-to-your-right-mindedness. the moments of really bad choices and the post-choice-angst you feel, the remorse for a period of time you weren’t in your right mind.
and then there are the times when you know…you can feel everything align and you, in your right mind, are able to make a decision, to be rational, to be measured in good intention. your right mind is calm, cool, collected, more at peace with the reality around you. your right mind is accepting, forgiving, altruistic in empathy and goodness, benevolent and generous. your right mind is reasonable.
i have known, at least after-the-fact, the times i wasn’t in my right mind. they are times for which i, impossibly, wish a do-over, a chance to make all well. times that range the spectrum from angry words spoken to life decisions made without, well, my right mind.
i suppose ptom is right. you recognize the moments you leave your right mind. you ask for forgiveness. from others, from yourself. and you move on, a little wiser and maybe more capable of steeling yourself against being somehow out of your right mind. and michael gerson is also right. he said, “…in our right minds, we know that life is not a farce but a pilgimage…” “..in our right minds, we know that hope can grow within us…” “…in our right minds, we know that love is at the heart of all things….”
we are in our right mind; we are not in our right mind. we live life on the roller coaster of right-mindedness, for we are human and we sometimes are, in the complexities of the moments we live, incapable of mindedness. so we make mistakes. we learn. we grow. and we try again.
for “…we learn that we are neither devils nor divines.” (maya angelou)