Shoulding

Of late, there is a phrase I have been paying the most attention to... it's "I should be."

You hear it all the time, in fact you are so used to using it and hearing it, that you've gotten to the place where you think it's ok.

Ok here it goes... 

When you are shoulding all the time,  you're shitting on everything you could be doing.

Should is probably one of the most dangerous words in our language.

It belittles your life, what you've done thus far, and what you even could be doing... because you are so worried about what you aren't or haven't done.

You're living in fear. Constant blame and shame about what is actually not happening or better yet, what you didn't want to happen in the first place. (Imagine that.)

I noticed this about me... Everything was surrounded by should.

"I should do that laundry"... "I should be reading"... "I should watch this series"... "I should eat better"... "I should go to that place".... UGH!!!!!

Even though these could be nice, enjoyable things... I'm creating a cell memory connected to that event that is filled with anxiety. So how am I ever going to get around to doing something that brings me (now) so much discomfort.

In this time period we live in... it's a blessing and a curse.

The blessing is our eyes can see all that there is to explore and take in, experience for ourselves. It's all becoming very accessible. 

The curse... we get down on ourselves for not being at that place or location now. Like right at this moment now.

So now your life, and whats happening here and now, this isn't enough.

You're not doing enough, you don't work hard enough, you haven't been "out there" enough (second least favorite phrase behind "I should be").

Then the panic starts. Now you are anxiety ridden over something that doesn't even exist in this present moment.

I'm fucking exhausted writing all of that. (And nothing is wrong haha).

OK!!! Here's how I'm handling this shit now.

I share with you... a tip, technique, and little exercise.

Write down 5 things you "should" be doing... in this moment, today, the shoulds.

Then ask yourself why. Why haven't I done this?.... Just you wait, because you get harder on yourself. It gets down right mean. 

Then image this list was your best friends, and she/he/they were telling you what they should be doing and all the reasons why they haven't.

If your bestie was rattling off this list, you'd stop them and say "HEY! Relax... you are doing amazing. Be kind to yourself." But if we are saying it to ourselves... we always want to be "right"... so then we agree with the negative mean talk (the safer approach)... not good.

Did you say it's safer to live in fear? Yes yes I did. Because you know the outcome, so you are in a comfort zone. That also... not good.

Now... take your (their) list, and change the word Should to Could. What Could you be doing in this moment?

If you really wanted to do something what could that be???? 

Follow that with "Why haven't you?"

Wait for those answers.... it gets real.

So real that I now do this exercise every time fear pops it head up.

What is so amazing... I figure out some really cool shit.

"I could go to that event, but then I would have to rearrange my whole day. And if I don't go, I'm worried they might think I don't like them."

BINGO!

You're getting down to it now.

Not... "I should go, and why couldn't I just tough it up and run around all day because they worked so hard on this, then I don't disappoint them...." and again, I'm exhausted. 

Listen to all the COULDS... not the SHOULDS.... Because could is a possibility.... and when nothing is certain, everything is possible. Not when nothing is certain we live in panic and fear. Well you COULD but that then will only create more of the same bullshit you don't want.

Unless you like the bullshit (aka addicted to chaos) and then nothing will ever change, because well you aren't allowing it to. And then you stay safely in your SHOULDING bubble.

I have now noticed, and have for a while... a lot of the old "shoulds" that play in my head... they aren't even my own voice.

Its a voice I listened to who wanted something for me, and at the time, I didn't know I even wanted it. In fact, I am realizing now a lot of things I thought I wanted, and in deed, now I see I never did in the first place.

Our bodies are crazy cool, what we hold on to, what voices stay in our heads... but there has to be an adult moment that you sit down and say "wait... who is that in there?"

I please ask of you, as this year comes to an end, and a lot of shit comes up... please be kind to you and possibly look at what you are putting off, dreading, worried about... and simply figure out why.

There is no need to belittle this past year and only look forward to the new one.

You (I know this) have done so much this whole year.

Be so kind to acknowledge and appreciate all of it.

All my love to you all, 

LP