We are surrounded by countless sources of input – friends, family, coworkers, the media, even billboards and print materials. How much of that input is based on “should”?
- You should buy this drug so you don’t get this disease.
- You should think this way because I do.
- You should go to this church because I want you to.
- You shouldn’t look like that because I don’t like it.
- You shouldn’t like that person because I don’t.
- You shouldn’t do that because I don’t like it when you do.
- You should not eat that chocolate cake.
The dictionary says “should” is “used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.” You may often “should” on yourself, saying “I should lose weight” or “I should get to work on time.”
Every time you agree with a “should” or comply with its wishes, you say “no” to an essential aspect of yourself. These opinions and statements come from a place of judgment, in which you and your truth are either incorrect, not enough, or not capable.
However, when you learn to ignore the “shoulds”, whether internal or external, not in anger or judgment but in quiet truth, you have allowed your soul wisdom to guide you.
For instance, rather than “I should lose weight,” it would be better, and kinder, to say “I choose a healthy body and would enjoy feeling better.” Rather than focusing on often being late for work, perhaps think, “I want to be in integrity and honor my work by being on time.”
Replace “should” with helpful, respectful thoughts and say “yes” to the longings of your heart.