In my opinion one of the worst words in the English language is ‘should’. (And ‘shouldn’t’ – ok that’s two!)
If we use it about ourselves, we’re saying that somehow we haven’t lived up to some ideal or standard – usually set by others – and so we’ve failed! “We ‘should’ be using this lockdown time to learn new things!” is a common one recently.
So…just by using that word we condemn ourselves to ‘not being good enough’. We make ourselves anxious and stressed trying to live up to what we ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ do.
If we use that word about others, we become dictators – trying to make others conform to what OUR ideas are…what is good for US. We’re really saying someone else has to change their behaviour/opinions/character so that WE will be happy … Nonsense! People have the right to be who they are, not who we want them to be!
Underneath all of these ‘shoulds’ is a desire for perfection, for perfect knowing, for control. If we can control ourselves or others, then we can eliminate uncertainty in our lives – and we HATE uncertainty.
But here’s the thing – life is ALWAYS uncertain! It’s made up of uncertainties. Things can go any number of ways at any time – that’s reality. And no amount of shoulds or shouldn’ts can make reality more certain!
So forget that awful word, let people be who they are – allow yourself to be imperfect – embrace uncertainty as an exciting opportunity, and live your life each moment fully aware of the wonder of your existence AS IT IS!
NOT as it ‘should’ be!
Keep safe and be happy! …and if you’d like to talk about any issues then get in touch…