“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. ❤
There are a thousand reasons why this idea should be prized. . .
Words have power and sometimes it is better to remain silent, lest ignorance, impatience, anger, or inability to understand cause more harm than good.
Sounds easy. . .but. . .it isn’t. It’s a life-long pursuit to manage the gift of language we’ve been given. Sometimes nothing feels better than sharing, commenting, responding, speaking. . . But a lot of times silence is a wiser, if not kinder, response.
While I am a long way from mastering the skill, it’s a good reminder that there’s a time and a place to use the gift of speech. Before engaging, thinking is often a great idea.
Whether or not it’s the “right thing” to not want affirmations from others, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t matter to me – I’ve always valued language, and kind verbal expression, whether from friends, family, coaches, training partners, even a purr from the boys!
Words, to me, are a huge deal, and I will always take them at face value, even when also internalizing the context, the non verbal cues, and the motivations behind them.
Like this pup, a sweet word can really light up my day. This lil guy is precious all around so I’d be showering him with “you’re so adorable”s all the time. . .in which case we’d definitely have the “after” effect regularly. ❤
As for my Keku and Musashi…food (or specifically shrimp) seem to have more of an effect than my “gooooood boyyyy!”s! Can’t win ’em all!
I’ll be honest…I RARELY, if ever, use this expression…and while I do appreciate the meaning and wisdom behind it, it drives me crazy when I hear it.
I don’t know, even “it’s just temporary” feels better… “It will pass” sounds medical, not to mention horribly uncomfortable, which a situation requiring the advice generally already is.
The other day a friend said something to the effect of the below, and it is a tenet I really believe in – each and every part of it.
Honesty is one of my top “must-haves” – not only do I need it, but I hold myself to it also. No matter the nature of the relationship (familial, personal, simply interpersonal), it won’t be a healthy or lasting one without honesty.
That said, it is vital we learn to say what we need to without being mean about it. Criticism is hard to take, but when it is constructive, it’s important for us to hear.
There is a way – and a tone – in which we can deliver criticisms, however – we need to remember that delivery directly affects receptivity. Further, if we think about how we’d like such commentary delivered to US, we might take a moment before speaking.
Our conduct matters – it not only is a reflection of us, but it affects us, and those around us. We all need to be able to say what we feel – learning and growing is an integral part of life, together with our loved ones, and on our own. But we do have a choice about how we proceed, how we speak to one another, and whether or not we are upstanding and honest with our word at all times.