Monday, August 9, 2010

The poison of SHOULDS

Have you ever thought about how dangerous
thinking and using the word
can be?

I found out some information that really
bothered me and that I
did some serious thinking about it.

Over and over I found myself stuck on the word should...
so and so should know better.
so and so shouldn't have said that.
 so and so should say it to my face.

It's something I've struggled with for most of my life I guess. 

People "should" behave this way,
marriages "should" be like this,
friends "should" respond this way,
life "should" look like this...
but guess what...
life doesn't work that way.

The truth is we all have expectations in our lives that affect the way we live, the way we view others,
and the way we respond to life.  
 Want to know what some of mine were?

1.  People should always make good choices
2.  People should tell the truth, always
3.  Moms should make dinner for their families
4.  Husbands should want to come home to their wives
5.  Friends should be honest with you, even when it's tough
6.  I should give 100% to everything I do
7.  I should stay positive, no matter what

You know what? 
These shoulds can ruin lives. 
They can ruin friendships.  They can ruin your self worth.
These shoulds can poison your attitude and bog you down into trying to figure out other people's motives and motivations.
These shoulds can make us expect things that are unrealistic.
And they allow us to be disappointed when things don't turn out the way they
They steal our joy.

I really struggled thinking about this.

Finally, in the wee hours of the Saturday morning
{think like 2 a.m.}
I finally came to the conclusion that
I have to release the need to determine
how things should be...

:: I release it ::

:: I let it go ::

:: Go ::

:: Fly away ::

:: Get away from me ::

:: Get out of my thoughts ::

:: Stop stealing my joy ::

I think that my expectations were just a form of control,
born of my need to know what the outcomes would be. 
And the more I am able to release that need,
the more I am able to accept life for what it truly is...
a series of ups and downs, triumphs and trials, happy moments 
and heartaches.

I encourage you, think about what your shoulds are. 
Shoulds with yourself.  Shoulds with your friends. 
Shoulds with your kids.  Shoulds in your marriage.

If you want to share some of them please do so, via comments. Who knows, they may be enlightening to someone else. 


Rebecca said...

Wow Becky that is so true! I really struggle with expecting my life to be as easy as other's lives appear to be. I "should" be able to experience life this way or that. But I usually realize that the way that I do experience life is exactly the way that I "should." God knows me better than I do. Thank you for sharing your heart. Miss you!

Melissa said...

Thanks for your thoughts; it's definitely something I needed to read. August is always a really bad attitude month for me when I have to return to work. You know, I "should" be able to stay home with my kids. Beautiful words--thank you!

gayle said...

That is so true!

Jennifer said...

I'm reading Keeping a Princess Heart by Nicole Johnson right now and something I read today in it went right along with your wonderful post. Thought I would share.
"We are never promised that everything will have a happy ending. We are not even promised that we will live to see all the joyous turns we long for. We have been given the hope that what we see is not the sum of all that is happening and the glorious revelation that the Author isn't finished yet. So we don't put our trust only in the happy ending; we put our trust in the Author of the happy ending."

jane deere said...

Someone once told me that I have to "stop shoulding all over myself" and ask myself if my expectations are true, and are they realistic. And based off of what? You're right. Shoulds can set us up for all kinds of disappointment and failure. It's definitely a struggle for me in a lot of areas in my life! Thanks, Becky.