I have the great fortune to work with many individuals with disabilities, and to learn alongside their families and those in special education. I have always lived my life believing that kindness is not only valuable…but crucial. I believe that when we have something nice to say, or we recognize something beautiful in another person, that we should speak up.
Working in this community has extended the importance of this even further. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing the face of a child when they suddenly believe in themselves. When we share a kind word and focus on their strengths (often in spite of great adversity) we have the power to illuminate their world. I take that responsibility very seriously, and frankly…I feel it is an honor to be in such a position. As all human beings, they already know where they struggle…they don’t need to be reminded of where they fall short, but rather to see all the things they do well.
No matter who you are, no matter who someone else is…if you have something kind to say...SAY IT. Don’t hold back because a few supportive words could make all the difference in someone’s day…or in their life. We all remember certain compliments we’ve received over the years, and we remember how those comments made us feel. Share that gift with others that they too may recognize their wonderful contributions to the world.
“Should” is dangerous. It looks perfectly benign, and wasn’t exactly something I grew up thinking deeply about – it’s just a word after all. Right?
“Should,” however, can quickly turn into trouble when we apply it to our situation, for example. “I should have more money by now,” “I should have reacted differently,” I shouldn’t have studied ____ in school…now it’s too late,” or “I should have listened to so-and-so.”
Life is a journey – we are all presented with circumstances, joys, challenges, and opportunities as they are meant for us. . . I sincerely believe we are precisely where we need to be.
If we had more money, maybe it would be at the expense of our own self-worth, or our family’s happiness. If we reacted differently to a stimulus, perhaps that resultant, and positive opportunity, would not have been made available. If we didn’t study what we had, perhaps we’d not have come to the realization that we are best suited for another area. If we listened to so-and-so, maybe we wouldn’t have made the mistake that finally put us on a path to recovery…
There are so many “what-if”s and if we play too much with them in our minds, we neglect all the blessings we have in front of us. To say “should” imposes on reality the idea that we are not where we should be… And yet there are so many circumstances where we find our lives falling right into place, rather miraculously.
When we use “should” with respect to ourselves, it can become much more than a word – when we say things like “I should have known better,” or “I shouldn’t be ________” we are adding a layer of self-judgement to the mix. It becomes less about a word, and more about an attitude – and when we use words with respect to ourselves, we begin to believe them….
None of us are perfect. . .and that’s okay. There is no “right way” to be, neither a flawless mold to which to adhere.
Each of us is on a unique path, and we are – even when it seems otherwise – right we are meant to be. When we view our world from this lens, we bring the present back into focus, diminishing the anxieties, worries, self-imposed judgments and falsities that the brain likes to dwell on when we revisit our past…or project into the future.
Including “should” in our conversations with ourselves begins to erode our self-confidence – it can do so not only unbeknownst to us, but at a frighteningly rapid pace. To let go of the notion allows our inner dialogues to remain healthy, and as we are a reflection of the divine around us (whatever that means to you) those words we speak about ourselves matter.
Our lives are like flowers whose petals must unfold as they – and Nature – are ready. To rush them is to destroy the life itself, whether directly or on a more, shall we say, spiritual level.
Allow yourself the room to BE without the confines of “should” – even when life feels askew, remember that the last time it felt that way, the cycle came whirling back around to everything-is-okay.
And…it will be. ❤
I’m still working on this one, and I am certain I’ll be at it for a while. But deep down, I fully believe in this concept, and I am getting better about stopping myself when my thoughts *try* to sabotage my mind, emotions, and body. Like I said...*working on.*
The key is consistency – the efforts we make to apply it to ourselves, every…single…day, regardless of what’s going on around us. In my mind it isn’t necessarily a lofty goal, so much as a slow-and-setady one. It also happens to be an incredibly noble one and – should we truly desire peace in our lives – wholly achievable.