Being right

I find it very productive to sometimes think “What if I’m completely wrong about this?” You know, “What if this tightly-held, well-evidenced belief is actually not true?” Even if it does turn out to be true, it can be an illuminating exercise to consider what the world would be like or what our experience of the world might be or what decisions we might make differently IF it weren’t the case. It goes as well for global situations “What if the world isn’t actually flat even though that’s how my senses perceive it?” as well as the more personal: “What if it weren’t true that everyone hates me?”

An equally productive development of this rhetorical exercise is to ask “what if, rather than believing that everything about this situation is wrong, what if everything were just right?” In effect this is asking “What if I’m wrong about everything in my life going wrong?”

That’s what I was writing about yesterday. “What if the innovation edge conference was actually perfect in every way?” What does that tell me, what can I learn about it, what might I do differently myself as a result of experiencing it and experiencing my discomfort?

So today, as I begin another day with No Fixed Abode and seeing other people’s fear and insecurity when I explain to them what’s happening and being tempted to fall into that spiral of panic and busy work that I well know makes for little progress, today, I ask myself “What if I’m wrong that not having a permanent place to live is the worst possible situation to be in?” “What if it’s absolutely right and perfect that I’m flat-sitting for a friend?” What might I do in response to that, how would I think and act, what might it mean about me? And why might I have brought myself to this place?

And as I reflect on all that, a paradox becomes clear to me. This week I have had the recurring feeling of being safe and at home – *wherever* I am. I was in Epsom yesterday and went to the Post Office and walked along the High Street and it was all lovely and suburban and I thought “Oh yes, this is home, perhaps this is where I should live all the time” and then this morning I was in Pimlico and walking around the gardens of St George’s Square and had *exactly* the same feeling.

From which I take that it was in order to fully appreciate that I really belong here, wherever “here” is, to fully understand that I’m at home wherever I am and that my physical location is purely a matter of choice, that I had to bring myself to this experience of “homelessness”.

So, phew! Having gotten that out of my system, I think I’ll choose a period of greater stability 🙂

3 thoughts on “Being right”

  1. There’s a bit in a Stoppard play – I think it’s Jumpers – where two characters are talking about the earth going round the Sun. One character is saying that you can understand why people thought the sun went round the earth, because that’s what it looks like. The other character then asks – ‘but what would it look like if the earth went round the sun?’ The answer is of course that it would look exactly the same, because the earth does go round the sun.

    Not really sure if that’s relevant to your post – but I’ve always liked that bit of the play, and your post made me think of it.

    And hooray, hooray, it’s sunny today.


  2. I spent quite a while, a few years ago, “functionally homeless”. Although I had somewhere to live, it was in Dorset, and it wasn’t a very helpful place for me to be at the time, so I ended up going from couch to spare room to sofabed for months on end. By the end of it, I felt relieved that I didn’t have to pack up and move every few weeks, but I also missed the variety, the adventure.

    I just found this old blog post about it, and I like the update at the end.

    Lloyd, your home is, as mine was and is, online. Where you are physically is just a resting point as you travel along the road. It’s where your heart is that counts.

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