From SHOULD to Natural Expression
There are many things we know we should do and many ways we know we should be.
Shoulds are disempowering disconnects dodges that deceive us as we dive further and further into dissonance from our desires. We should read, a lot, every day. We should be active, eat well, and have strong relationships. We should be grateful. We should wake up early. We should, we should, we should...BUT.
There's often a but in the way, isn't there? Shoulds are at once a self-indictment and a self-justification. Like a slap on the wrist, we feel the disconnect between how we are and how we desire to be, so we sit with the guilt or shame of that. Then, we have our reasons that keep us where we are and keeping our plaguing "shoulds" comfortably out of our reach.
Sometimes "shoulds" get proposed to us by others, but ultimately all shoulds are self-imposed. The key clarification I have found to dissolve "shoulds" is knowing what I truly desire. "What do I really want?"
I remember pangs of guilt and self-judgment during a time when I was not physically very active. When I would be driving and see a runner moving at a quick clip, WHAM, the thunderclap of shoulds went off in my head. It took me a bit to understand that I really wanted to run but was sabotaging myself from doing it with my reasons. Other times, I compare myself to others and think I SHOULD do something, but I don't care to. Rather than carrying that around, I can choose to let that go and focus on what I actually care about.
When I am living in alignment with my desires, my purpose, and passions, I clear up the "should-storm" and figure out what my musts are. This doesn't mean everything is effortless. Building habits is work. Yet, when it stems from my desires and essence, there is built-in joy and reward. Ultimately these actions are flowing out as natural expressions of my character because I genuinely care.
Clear the fog, get out of the "should-storm," and focus on your real needs and desires. Then, muster up the courage to say YES and get into action on what must be done.