Sunday, May 13, 2012

Don't Should on Yourself

Have you ever wondered about your beliefs?  Where they come from?  Why you choose what you choose?  Act the way you act?  Hate or love the people you hate or love?  How you learned to hate at all...?

Much of this comes from social constructs.  It's a topic that has been coming up a lot in my life lately, and in my clients' lives.  From the time we are born, we are being taught what our society, family, and religious beliefs believe to be right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable.

That could mean that we dislike certain people or races because of the way that they look, even having never met a person of that race.  It could mean that we decide that we are fat and ugly because we don't look like the covergirls on the magazines.  Or, it could mean that we choose to not be in uniquely defined relationships because they aren't the same as everyone else's.

When did we decide that other people's ideas were more valuable than our own?  Why do we as a human race, tend to put people on pedestals, and often take pleasure in seeing them fall off?  We are all perfectly imperfect.  I may have something wonderfully profound to say one moment and something completely ridiculous the next.  Am I insightful or an idiot?  Can I be both?  Can't we all?

So, I thought and I thought on this and I realized that for my truth, I can see that we are all connected and we are all doing our very best, as often as we can, to live in harmony with one another and we need some structure to help that along.  What we don't need, however, is judgments upon one another when we do things that are different.  Sure, lets go ahead and judge a little when someone harms another, or says mean, spiteful things.  But judging who one chooses to love and how they choose to express their love, is pointless and negative.  How we choose to decorate our home, keep stuff, toss stuff, exercise, be lazy, dance in public, or pretend to be a mime--this all should be moot.  A topic for an interesting conversation, and a reflection of ourselves and how we choose to live, perhaps even the "why" around it, but not the negative judgment that is so often made.

Next time you notice thoughts of "should" (should do this, or should've done that), explore where they come from.  Is the "should" really in alignment with YOUR core beliefs and values?  Or is it a social construct that you "should" do only because you've been programmed that if you don't do it that you're doing something wrong or bad?  Who decided that it's wrong or bad?  Check in with your gut.  Is it hurting yourself or others?  If the "should" isn't in alignment with your values and it isn't hurting anyone to not do it, or to do it differently, then perhaps it's time to let go of the "should".  

Someone once told me a long time ago, "Don't should on yourself".  And, I think he was on to something.  If you decide that you should have done the "should", then extrapolate the learning and apply it to your life immediately so you don't repeat the cycle.  And, perhaps apologize to someone too, if applicable.

The bottom line is this, when we check in with ourselves, and we move through life as often as possible from a place of love, the "should's" just disappear.  Explore the possibilities!  

Oh!  I almost forgot!  A wonderful side effect of dumping the social constructs and "should's", is FREEDOM!  And the anxiety melts away like snow in the spring!  Enjoy the peace!

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