Releasing The “Shoulds”

Recently on his website, Dr. Wayne Dyer presented me with this bit of wisdom:

If you are suffering in your life right now, I guarantee that this condition is tied up with some kind of attachment to how you think things should be going.

This is so spot-on for me.

How things should be going. Um…yeah. I find myself caught up in “the shoulds” a lot. The kind of mom I “should” be. The kind of girlfriend I “should” be. The kind of friend I “should” be. The kind of relationship I “should” have.

The problem with getting caught up in “the shoulds” means that it gets in the way of appreciating who I really am, and what I actually do have. “Should” means comparing ourselves to others, measuring ourselves by external standards. If we’re focused inwardly, there is no such thing as “should”. There is simply what is, and what isn’t.

It’s taken some time, but I’ve been able to do a pretty good job of releasing the shoulds it comes to my relationship with CBG. The first while was painful in a lot of ways, as I struggled against what a relationship “should” be — being with your partner all the time, living in the same house, blah blah blah. Once I let go of that, and worked toward accepting and working with the reality of our situation, it became a whole lot easier. Do I still wish that we were happily living in the same home together? You betcha. But I no longer feel bogged down with feeling like our relationship isn’t living up to what it “should” be. I am able to genuinely appreciate what we have….because I am not focused on any sort of perceived lack.

And it’s the same with everything. When I think about my parenting, I could focus on the kind of mom I “should” be. Perhaps even the mom I used to be. I could spend so much time thinking about these things that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the kind of mom I actually am…doing my best and enjoying my girls despite the challenges that get thrown my way.

Instead of mourning what I do not have and can not be, I am working to focus on who I am and all of the great things that I do have.

Goodbye “should”.

6 Responses

  1. Ahhh letting go. That is so hard to do, especially of expectations–the shoulds. I know that DH really tries to do the live-in-the-moment thing and he’s pretty dang happy. I’m living in the shoulds and sometimes I’m pretty miserable. I keep trying to live in the now instead of should–guess that’s all any of us can really do!

  2. Good for you, I know it is tough sometimes, but you are doing a great job processing all of the truthful feelings you have and sharing how you are getting through. It is very nice to see, and also to feel like I am not alone!

  3. That is such a great way of looking at it. I do the same thing – I SHOULD everything! Sometimes you just need to realize that certain things are the way they are for a reason.

  4. Ah yes… I believe I’ve said that I have a friend who tells me to “quit shoulding all over yourself!”

    We all do it.

    I read something yesterday by Byron Katie that helped too: “How do I know that I don’t need what I want? I don’t have it.”

    Yes, exactly. And of course that statement only applies in the NOW.

  5. Thanks for the reminder. I do this all of the time and it creates so much dissapointment!
    You rock!

  6. This is pretty much exactly what I needed to read right now.
    This is why I love reading your blog. lol

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