“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. ❤
To face oneself head-on is to show true strength, for none of us shine without some darkness in the mix. To openly delve into our depths is to learn, to grow, and to better grasp the nature of Life. No man is without some sin or flaw, but if we can see our own shortcomings rightly, we are all the more able to accept, understand, even appreciate those around us – the battles are always raging, though often they are invisible to the outside eye.
There is no perfection among us, neither any living species. Perfection is an elusive and false idea that cannot be achieved nor, frankly, should it – without darkness, as they say . . .
Life molds us in such a way – through beauty and pain – but with gentle acknowledgement, and a lot of work, we can be better people each day.
The journey takes time – sometimes a life to its full. It takes failure, making mistakes, patience, forgiveness of ourselves and others, and willingness to learn. . .but it is possible not only to come out unscathed, but grateful, healthy, happy and wise in the end.
As an empath and co-dependant type, this is something I work on regularly – I’m worlds better than I once was, and I’m able to hear this sentiment in my mind even during the toughest times. I’ve referred to this idea often because it’s juts so powerful. . .
I remember watching Labyrinth as a kid – you remember that film with David Bowie as the Goblin King, right? Yeah, that one. (Don’t judge!) Well, for whatever the reason, I always noted – rather firmly – the “you have no power over me” part (the phrase alluded to in my early post, as linked above.) It just stuck. That said, I didn’t really apply it to myself until many…many…moons later.
Today I find myself going back to the sentiment – OFTEN. As they say, everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. You never know what’s going on with someone else, and therefore cannot know the impetus behind their actions. The reactions others have are (truly) their own and what we see is not always an accurate reflection of the full picture. Because of this, it is important we remind ourselves that whatever negativity comes our way – no matter the form – it doesn’t have power over us unless we let it.
As human beings, we feel – for empaths, profoundly – and that’s okay. But we do have a choice about whether we go flying off the tracks in anger, sadness, hurt etc…based on the actions of others. We don’t HAVE to. Neither they, nor any other junky energy, need ruin a beautiful day, or change our positive approach – only we can decide that.
Back when I did an endurance bicycling event (my ONLY one in life, but 300 miles counts), it happened to fall during the dead of summer. And, apparently, on the hottest days – the first 100 + miles was in 110 degree heat.
As a non-heat, and non-endurance athlete, I HAD prepared somewhat. I searched high and low for cooling apparel, wipes, sprays, really anything that could help lower my body temp. While I was somewhat successful (thank you FrogTogs), and though I’m not planning any rigorous outdoor events for mid-summer, I am always up for learning about new products that bring a little heat relief.
Duke Cannon Supply Co Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels are designed not only to get you clean (a necessary feature if you are training – at any time – but especially during sweat-laden summer months), but also to give a cooling, refreshing feel.
Per Ulta’s description:
The mountains of Afghanistan are not exactly equipped with state of the art plumbing, so a cold shower to escape the dirt, grime, and oppressive heat was never an option. Such was the inspiration behind Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels. Developed in concert with our military advisory panel, these face and body towels are manufactured with menthol, aloe, and jojoba to provide a chilling blast as they cleanse and protect. The perfect way to cool down and recover after 12-hour shifts, covert field missions, or back alley boxing matches.
As for the formulation, there are hydrating, exfoliating, calming and cooling ingredients throughout – these are definitely no bullshit:
Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aloe Vera Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Cucumis Sativus Extract, Althaea Officinalis Extract, Oat Kernal Extract, Menthol, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sucrose Cocoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethyhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenxyethanol, Fragrance.
- Failure is NEVER the end. In fact, without failure, we might very well miss out on what we are meant to do and meant to learn. Embrace mistakes and endings, and recognize them as the begging of something great.
- Things don’t change just because you want them to / say they will. If you want change, you must take action – life isn’t going to drop what we need at our feet most of the time. We have to work hard, set intentions, and put actions into play. Period
- ALWAYS go above and beyond. Promise what you will, and over deliver on those promises. Your name is on your work, so give a shit and make it count.
- Teach others (without being condescending.) Your knowledge and experiences are valuable, not only to you, but to others who will come after. Sharing the wealth in this way benefits everyone.
- Question before jumping to conclusions. As human beings, we all often fall into the ass-of-you-and-me trap. It’s important to step back and recognize that what we *think* may be the case, may be the farthest thing from. What someone SAYS is gospel, may be in fact be a figment of another’s imagination (or poor googling!)
- Make peace with your past. Tough one, for sure! Do what you can to make peace with your past, and those in it – this might mean ongoing help to overcome the habits the past has instilled within you, and that’s okay. Just make sure you work on it – no one deserves to be confined to past challenges. There is hope, and there’s always room to break free!
- Turn. Your. Brain. OFF! Some of us overthink (which can be disastrous –> irrational brain on overdrive!) and some of us conceptualize (read: think about ways to do this or that, but never take the plunge and ACT. As with #2, you have to DO in order to initiate change – things aren’t going to materialize for you while you sit and ponder!)
- NEVER, EVER compare yourself to others. PERIOD. If you can’t help yourself, compare you to you yesterday – that is the only person you need to concern yourself with. You may see good, bad, or ugly in others…and you can rest assured that the flip side of any of those also exists (you just aren’t privy.) The point being, you have no idea what another’s true reality is, so don’t’ make yourself crazy trying to pit yourself and your circumstances against it.