Should. Should. Should.
Should is an evil word. Should has no good intentions. Should should jump off a cliff.
Should is a word that has dominated too much of my life. Should has been wearing the crown and sitting in judgement of far too many of my choices and actions.
I should do this.
I should not do that.
I should let it go.
I should not take up too much space.
I should not ask for anything.
I should not say that.
I should just say yes, no matter what it costs me.
Should- you’re fired.
There is a transition afoot in my life and in my inner being. It’s going to be a bumpy transition for some people. My first answer is no longer “yes, let me lay down and make this easier” it is now “no, I am tending to my own garden”. I have been terrified of saying no for years, worried that I am a bad person if my answer is no. I’ve been trying it on and saying no in safe ways, to safe people I know will still love me even when I say no. It’s been emboldening.
I have met myself before though. No is not going to be easy for me. I need reminders. Insert my current brain hack. I am channeling a younger version of myself and I set a song as the ringtone on my phone. Yes, If my phone rings in public it will be loud and obnoxious to others. I’m ok with that because as Meghan Trainor sings No, I am reminded to protect my self and my family from burnout and say no.
What does this have to do with should? My yes was often rooted in should. I should do that for them. I should not rock the boat and just go with it. I should help them with that. I should not worry about burnout. I should be quiet about that. I should conform to the status quo.
Does this mean I am going to stop being a person reaching out to help others? No, because that’s not who I am. I am a helper. I am someone who views the world in a way that is always asking, “how I can serve?”. That’s not going to change. What is going to change is the realization that I am one person. Just one. Currently my plate is full. Is it too full? No. Is it unmanageable? No. However, it is full. There is no more room and I cannot let should be the reason I add more to it, for then the plate will collapse under the weight.
Letting go of should has opened the world up for me. It has opened me up to my truer self. The self that is far more organic, bohemian, barefoot, loving, open, and free spirited. I like this transition. It’s making life a lot more fun.
How is should making your life small or robbing you of your true self?