The fastest way to misery is the perpetual dialogue of ‘I should have’ or ‘I should be’ or ‘I should know’.
The more attention you pay to your narrative the more you begin to see how ingrained the patterns of self judgement are within you.
Personally, as a high achievement and high ambition oriented individual there are many expectations I set for myself. The majority of the time the conditions I put myself under continue to test and stretch me - they are uncomfortable yet somehow I’m drawn to that discomfort - I recognise that it’s often through that discomfort that I grow.
I’ve also said on many occasions that I know I can’t take people further than I’m prepared to travel myself so I recognise part of this journey of growth is to ensure I’m equipped to help others along the path.
The deeper I go into self enquiry and the more I observe myself the more I begin to understand where some of the conditions and narrative are not helpful.
I’ve meditated for twenty seven consecutive days - it’s the longest consecutive run I’ve had and I’ve found that it’s helping me see things so much more clearly and understand where I have patterns that are not conducive to living a rich and full life and how easy it is to strip joy from my day.
How often do you find yourself living in a narrative of ‘should?’
We all have expectations of what we should be doing or what we should have achieved or should know already but how often have we paid attention to what the word ‘should’ conjours up?
Does the word should leave you feeling full? Or does it leave you feeling like there is a gap?
Usually the word should helps create a divide between the reality we have and the one we believe would be a better accepted alternative.
How does that help?
As I meditate more I see how ‘should’ leaves me feeling drained and inadequate and there are alternative words that enable a more empowered dialogue.
e.g. I would know better for next time vs. I should know better or I will do things differently knowing what I know now vs. I should have done things differently….
These examples demonstrate acceptance rather self judgement. There are many other alternatives that can be used too.
Using should is hugely self judgemental and often creates an expectation of perfection.
But we all know that this world is imperfect and so are we.
So perhaps it’s time to stop ‘shoulding’ and see what happens when we create a space of non-judgment I wonder what we’d give ourselves permission to do in the absence of ‘should’?
I can’t wait to find out!