life resides in the grey, and everyone's path is unique

An interesting journey for me has been the broadening of my perspective on what is right and what is wrong in life. There really is no right or wrong. Yes, of course we have some basic rules to guide our lives (e.g. do no harm, thou shalt not kill, honesty, integrity, etc.), but hardly anything, if anything, is all right or all wrong. There are pros and cons to everything, and whether something is right or wrong typically depends on how those pros and cons interact with our own personal values. I am always wary when I hear someone claim their way is the "right way" to do something, eat, live life, raise children, etc. Everyone is different and unique, so it seems impossible to find anything that's right for all people under the sun. 

In retrospect, the way I grew up contradicted the idea that everything resides in a grey area. I learned there was right behavior and wrong behavior, and wrong behavior equals punishment. In school, I learned there was one right answer on a test, other answers equaled a grade reduction. So, naturally, learning that there are really no rights or wrongs was a revelation for me, and one topic of discussion I always bring up with my clients. I can't tell someone what decision is right for them, or how they should live their life, because what works for me may not work for them. We all carry with us our own history, values, personality, hopes, and dreams. Life choices must take all these aspects of ourselves into account. Hardly are our options ideal, and we are often faced with the burden to choose the better of two imperfect options. Always, our behaviors (even the bad ones) served us in some way, otherwise we would have never begun them. Often, our bad habits have ceased to serve us, and the cons outweigh the pros, we just fail to realize this. 

The point is,  nothing is all right or all wrong, all pro or all con. There are always pros and cons to everything, every behavior, every relationship, every situation, every choice. Often, when faced with a difficult choice, I make a mental or sometimes physical list of the pros and cons for each choice, and rank pros/cons according to my own values. This reflection allows me to decide if I need to change something, guides me when faced with a tough decision, and allows me to realize when my habits have ceased to serve and begun to hinder me. Black and white thinking has rarely served me in life, and when I take time to reflect on the pros and cons, I am reminded that life resides in the grey, and only  I can determine my own path.