“There’s still time. Close your eyes. Only love will guide you home. Tear down the walls and free your soul.” -What You Want (Evanescence)
I have been doing something lately that I don’t like. I’m not judging myself, just noticing and being accountable. I have been “shoulding” on a lot of people, including me! What is “shoulding” you ask? You know it; you’ve no doubt done it and had it done to you. It looks like this: “My husband ‘should’ change the light bulb like I asked him to do earlier.” “My coworkers ‘should’ spend more time working and less time goofing around.” “That driver ‘shouldn’t’ have cut me off!” “I ‘shouldn’t’ eat that piece of cake because I’m already over my ideal weight.” (Actually, in the last example, I’m guessing you are more than likely calling yourself fat, disgusting or something worse.)<
The list of what we think people (including ourselves) should and shouldn’t do is endless. It’s one of the ways we knock ourselves out of the present moment (and our own reality) and start playing the blaming/shaming game. When we should on ourselves, it takes a huge toll on our self-esteem. When we should on others, we presume that we know how they can best live their lives and that our way of doing things is right. In both cases, we are not taking responsibility for our choices, and in the process, give our power away.
“Don’t bullshit yourself about what you should be doing versus what you really want to be doing.” ~Albert Ellis~
Why do we should on ourselves (and others)? It’s easier to believe that things should be different somehow than it is to accept reality and work on the hard stuff. It’s easier to blame others for why our life isn’t working out than to accept responsibility and be conscious of our choices and the consequences. It’s easier not to really want something that you think you can’t have or be something that you think isn’t possible, so that you’re not disappointed if it doesn’t work out. Or at least those are some of the lies we tell ourselves.
The fact is that our soul craves the truth. Our soul came here to learn. Our soul asked to be given these lessons. It’s only the ego (the mind) that tries to get us to ignore the truth. Take all the shoulds and shouldn’ts which crop up (especially the ones that are really painful and make you feel crappy), and ask yourself if what you’re believing is actually true. Chances are there is more going on behind those thoughts. There is always a gift in it for you – the gift of knowing what your heart truly desires. Keep tuning into that, and it will peacefully guide you to your best life.
“There’s no place in the transcendent consciousness for any of the baggage you may still be carrying. All the shoulds and shouldn’ts that may have dominated your consciousness are to be released and left at the crossroads.” – unknown