Divorcing “Should”

Various facebook blogs and articles as well as a good conversation with my sister a while ago has left me thinking about the word “should”. My sister, N, was talking about how she loves to come home from work and veg out with her computer and a healthy dinner but all the while is thinking about her Shoulds. “I should be doing yoga”, “I should hang those posters”, “I should be more productive.”

Of course, “should” has its place.
“I should make that doctor’s appointment today.”
“I should put the leftovers away so they don’t spoil.”
“I should call my friend back, she’s waiting for me.”

Dogs don’t “should”. They either do or they don’t. We can learn so much from our fur-babies!

I think, though, that in general we “should” ourselves too much. We don’t allow ourselves to sit in the joy of a moment because we’re always thinking about the “shoulds”.

Instead of allowing ourselves to watch Netflix all night we tell ourselves, “I should put that laundry away”. Maybe instead, we could think, “I’ve been solo parenting all day and I kicked out more “To Do” list items before lunch than usual. I am going to completely relax tonight so I’m rested for another full day tomorrow.”

Instead of really enjoying a third (or fourth, or…whatever’th) cup of coffee we think, “I really should drink more water”. While that might be true, why don’t we rephrase it to, “I’m going to have this bottle of water and then I’ll have another coffee”. Instead of saying, “I should go to bed early” we could say, “I might go to bed early”.

I’ve been experimenting with this concept since it first occurred to me a few months ago and I have found that it really takes a lot of pressure off and makes me feel less guilty for doing what I want to do or NOT doing what I had planned to do. As much as it’s just the swapping out of one word, it’s the whole mindset behind it that makes it powerful.

This is being published on a Monday. I love Mondays: a new week, a fresh start. This week I challenge you to catch yourself whenever you think or say the word “should” and replace it with something else to change the tone.  Leave “Should”. Walk out on it. Divorce it. BE GONE!

I’d love to hear back if you think it made any difference!

Take care of yourself!
<3 Mel

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