|My Should s!!|
I usually wake up before my alarm, but today nothing could drive me to move out of my bed. I slowly opened my eyes to the perfect urban morning scene fresh breeze blowing through my window, birds chirping, and sound of a building construction in the neighborhood and above all beautiful fragrance of freshly cooked Parathas from the neighbors house. While I was still enjoying the scene my should voice gave a shout. It reminded me of too many things such as putting on shoes and hit the gym? Wash those piled up heap of clothes in the corner? , rush to the office early and keep up with work? And so finally I conclude I had plenty to do for the day. Wasting no more time I started off by making the list in my mind of things to me done and finished by end of the day.
My happiness always weighed down to the “should” that occupied most of my life ever since I arrived on this world. The sense of freedom is like a fresh breeze that blows onto you and makes you to feel the desire to live each moment and these moments have always been curbed entirely by the ‘should’ not just from the society, the boss and most importantly from the loved and dear ones around. I rebelled and struggled to pass through the ‘should’ only to pile up pressure to live with lines drawn all around me. I feel it makes us totally incapable of making my own decisions.
Most of the ‘should’ comes from the recycling society of following the norms or follow the trend cycle that has been embraced by all around. I’d like to question the society and often myself on why one should transform into a rat in the rat race as defined by the society. Neither would I like to follow nor deny the norms defined to match up the other parts of society. I can and would want to take care of my children and my day to day house tasks at my defined and desired levels which would normally harm none.
Even a mother can feed her new born and take care as much as she can irrespective of her own care. No comparison can actually match the amount of effort put in such cases. But the pain of comparison and constant nagging of living up to the expectations can weigh anyone down. Even the toughest shoulders would bow down if defined to weigh more than what they can take up.
“If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
So how would we bring in this sense of wellbeing? How about replacing this “should” with “could”?
Around 6 Years ago, I was blessed with twin girls and I also had mixed of being in the middle of complete messed up life. My house looked as if a tornado had just passed through it. My backbone started to get more acute and deep which lead to quite recurring unbearable killer pain. I wasn’t getting much time though to sit back and relax, I needed to get physically fit losing weight and stay more active to stand off the pressure in front. I always wished to be mom who’s along with kids in the playground instead of cheering them up sitting on the bench. I wanted to push twin pram of 18 kilos while bending in every 5 seconds to pick the belongings tossed away by my twin girls. At least 2 km every day was the goal. The ‘should’ that I defined for myself pushed me to achieve those 2km of walk. Inside me, there would be a totally a different me shouting and screaming to achieve what I’ve aimed for all the time. My ‘should’ blamed nobody but me for the mess, the backaches, the laziness etc.
My little voice was ignored by the ‘should’ that constantly echoed in my head. Every minute of the day I seemed to be at myself about what I “should” do. This left me in a state of constant distress (It still does sometimes), as if I was never good enough and I didn’t care enough for my children.
In midst of all this, came a spark in mind while I was pursuing my master’s degree and that was this approach of psychotherapy called “Mindfulness”. I was greatly influenced by this approach and I told myself “I could neglect these “shoulds” and could look for other possibilities”. The acceptance and belief in the mindfulness has given me a confidence in dealing with these unwanted ‘should’ in my life though I couldn’t ignore them completely.
I learned to stay connected rather than giving in to the ‘should’. I now know that if I create a powerful connection that is vivid, I don’t need to fight the unwanted ‘should’. Eventually, I have learnt to stay more active, healthy, organized out of my choice. But, I keep reminding myself on how to deal with the feelings of guilt and inadequacy to bounce back.
The possible benefits of doing something immediately make us more positive about doing it. Possibility becomes more powerful and encouraging and so this morning instead of giving in to feeling bad about all the “shoulds” in my head, I thought, “How great would I would feel all day after I go for that walk?” and there I was, ready tying up shoe laces on and jogging out to enjoy that cool breeze of the summer mornings.
So here is little help you SHOULD take to eliminate the “Should” word
1. Surround yourself with “could” and “would” people (this may take some coaching and training of the “should” people)
2. Observe the little voice in your head and quieten the “should” replacing the word with “could” or “would”
3. Create what you really want to do as bigger than yourself – do it for others or associate it to part of your bigger dream. Replace negativity with possibility.
4. Learn to work out the benefits of doing something rather that pressurising yourself.
So…I enjoyed my walk and felt fresh and satisfied all day.
“Let us eliminate “should” and remind ourselves why we want to do this or that.”