As we continue on this journey, I invite you to learn how to let go of “shoulds”! I just drew a picture of the progression to more freedom in your inner and outer life.
Ok, so let’s work to understand this, because it changed EVERYthing for me, truly!! I learned it from Dr. Alan Surkis’ (my internship was at the Montreal General, and Surkis was Head Psychologist, so I didn’t include this in my book, cause it’s his work…I literally use these ideas every day in my office, so thank God he taught us this– I’m including it here.)
So, back to the chart– consider the way you operate on a daily basis. If you listen to how you speak to yourself and others and you hear lots of:
“you really should be doing this, and you shouldn’t be doing that….” or
“I really should get this done quickly!” or
“Sorry, I can’t go, I have to stay here!”
…then, guess what, you are about to have a major beautiful change in your life!! (if you choose to change)! It’s interesting because you can go through my blog or my unbreakable bonds book and see that I don’t have any “shoulds” as directives. (I saw some in the link to the 7 promises, but Daskalos speaks Greek primarily, so I’m just seeing that as a translation difference perhaps!!).
You can feel it in a person’s writing, when there aren’t shoulds. It is a refreshing and enlivening feeling!
Should is an irrational imperative:
because I said so….
Should is similar to shame and many other sh words…. If I motivate myself by shaming myself into doing things, then I am manipulating myself with shame. And why would I want to manipulate myself with shame? (sounds simple, right?).
We live in much closer alignment with our higher self and with God when we choose to give ourselves freedom . It’s best if we have a great respect and understanding of true freedom–which I am not going to cover extensively in one post, but the best example I was given was by Dr. Jerry Root (! I just love him, he’s dear!!) — he gave the example of Joe Theismann– when his leg bone popped out during an injury at a football game — you didn’t hear Joe jump up and say:
“This is great!! Now my leg is free!! It can move in all directions!!”
Our leg was designed to move forward and backward — not 360…. There are certainly many many many limitations we do place upon ourselves because we mistakenly think that humans can only do “this” with matter –when Joshua/Jesus walked on water, multiplied the fish and the bread, etc. So it’s important to not be stuck in limitations we have because of our forgetfulness or ignorance….
We do have the ability to choose to walk in love. We have the freedom to motivate ourselves by shame (which always leads ourselves to one form of addiction or another) — or we can learn how to offer ourselves free choice.
So let’s look at the scale again:
1) Should, irrational imperative:
“shhhhh, be quiet, because mommy says so…”
Then 2) Ought –this implies thought, for example:
“I really ought to be quiet in here, this is a place people come to for serenity and I ought to respect that…”
Then there is 3) “I want” :
“I want to be quiet in here, I enjoy the quiet…I want others to be quiet, I’ve thought about this, and I want to respect their request for this to be a place of quiet…”
And lastly, 4) there is “I choose” /
I choose to go to that place where they ask for quietness!! I’m so excited to refrain from talking there!! I like having a place I can count on where I can quietly collect my thoughts!
—– it’s something like that!!
Usually I use the example of helping an elderly lady across the street– you can go through the exercise again to “get it”:
“I should help her”
“I ought to help her”
“I want to help her”
“I choose to help her, I like helping her!”
Or consider this, what would you want your fiancé to be saying on your wedding day!!
“I really should marry her”
“I ought to be marrying this guy…” (right?!!)
“I want to marry her”
“I choose to marry this woman, I love her and I like that I get this choice to marry her!”
It makes a huge difference in your inner psyche when you shift from should up to ought, up to want, then up to “I choose” (then learn to live in that place of “I choose/ I like”)!
It makes an incredibly huge difference, after you change this within, because then you naturally change how you relate with others like your spouse and kids.
Should has lots more to do with being “polite” or pleasing someone’s temporary wishes. For example!!! We often teach our kids:
“you should listen to me, because I said so!!”
then we get sooo angry at them for doing drugs, sleeping around, or whatever teens are doing these days– when we taught them to operate based on shoulds/pleasing others!!!:
“do what I say, without your thought involved, without your will involved, just because I said so, and I expect it, and it pleases me…”
We are blind to the fact that we taught them how to please and indulge themselves and others by demanding that they please us.
It is not about them pleasing us (as I understand it). It’s my job to teach my kids (and myself) how to freely choose to walk in Love. Yes, I correct them and give them consequences –but they do not have to do the right thing in order to please me — but because, like Joe Theismann knows, because that is the best way a leg operates, from front to back… It’s my job to teach my kids how to be wise– how to awaken their thirst for truth, for what is kind, and for wisdom.
We get to discover, research and learn about what is truly Loving, if being Loving is even our goal?!?!
Lets look at one more example of how “should” is shame based, and therefore, it only works temporarily and it crushes the inner person!!
“you really shouldn’t eat that– you’ll get fat–and then you’ll be rejected…”
Or “you shouldn’t drink that…”
“you shouldn’t be looking at that….”
Vs. I choose to invite myself to let go of that behavior. I choose to explore and look into what I think that old behavior has been giving me,
in what way has that been feeding me(?) how can I give myself a more satisfying and lasting form of healing/filling that old emptiness??
Should is like being on a treadmill– with a carrot in front of us and a boot behind us. It is a very surface motivation that does not run deep. We do not/cannot have deep conviction if/when our actions are the outflowing of a bunch of shoulds. It’s basically based on whose boot is gonna come down the hardest on our head?! — with shoulds our choices aren’t based on:
“what is the true good?”
“what is the highest good?”
“what is treating myself and others with the highest amount of dignity and respect?”
“what would I want another to treat me like?”
Like all my posts, I choose to end them before I take up your whole day and mine reading/writing it– there’s much much more to this dynamic–but we can begin here to build this foundation for freedom & wisdom.
For some reason, this Bob Marley song is coming to mind, so I’m choosing to “go with it” :
I shot the sheriff, bob marley, live
(wow!! I just watched that, now I know why my intuition suggested it!!! Look at how Marley is present in that song, in each moment… And the song is revealing the different parts of yourself that are important to shoot/resist — in order to truly be free!! It’s like one Marley song conveys more than this whole post!! Love to Bob Marley!!! And LOVE to you.)