Sting of my Shoulds

The sting of my soles… I should be past this. I should be beyond this. I should be. I should. Should.

I can’t help but think that I’m shitting on my self with shoulds.

I’m shod in my shoulds. Caught in my shoulds. If I’m misguided it’s because I put God in my shoulds.

Gotta be good, shoulda known better

Can’t remember who I am in this, whether

Or not it’s what I’ve got, what I’ve been taught, what has been caught

It’s like I’m running in the summer in a stifling hot sweater

Can’t move, can’t groove

Can’t breathe, can’t see

So many “shoulds” like I can’t be me

Comparison and obligation have me frantically

Scrambling and trying to make a plan to be

More, better, different instead of what I am and what I need

What does this breed but inauthenticity

Whatever was good has now been missed in me

Lost in me, the cost in me

Is catastrophic.

I should be past this, I should be complete

I should break this cycle, I should not repeat

The patterns, the habits

Worn like a nun

Gotta be done

With should.

"Should" takes me away from everything else.

This moment, this place

The look on my face


Body, pained

These messages are so deeply ingrained

That my brain

Must be washed from all the washing

Unshod from the shoulds

Discalced from the hoods

Of the habits that have been shorn and worn since soon after I was born.

This word: acceptance…

I’ve heard it before

But I can’t learn it’s meaning from a book in a store

I’ve got to embody, I’ve got to embrace

Embark on this journey, at my own pace

Learn to live and live to learn

Let love have its say again

It’s way again

And only then

Can I simply be.

This barefoot journey happens one step at a time

Like a poem I’m writing and living each rhyme

When I love what is then I love my journey

I accept myself and I accept my yearning

It begins to fade, no worry, no hurry

Just progress in the unfolding moment of now.

There’s a sting in my soles and in my soul

It’s smaller than I thought, and I have control

Of my choice to accept and roll

With the punches, drop my hunches

Quit making meaning that makes me mean

With a heart full of love, my intentions are clean

Living with the pain and embracing the sting

Means I take on a life beyond it, anew and again.

Free at last but not pain free

It’s all within the love that is within me

It permeates the atmosphere and so others, too can be

Ridiculously expressive and unhindered in vulnerability.

I take this step, this choice,

Raised voice

Then quiet, in  whatever the moment calls for I will rejoice

No more shitty shoulds raining on my singing

It’s true love we’re bringing

In their hearts and ears it’s ringing

And there’s no more room for should.

Photo by h heyerlein on Unsplash