It is the worst Mad-Lib game on the planet.
You should always (__________).
You should never (__________).
You should be (__________).
You should not be (__________).
You should do (__________).
You should not do (__________).
You should have (__________).
You should not have (__________).
You should (__________) because (__________) said it is important.
verb proper noun
And I if you know you should (__________) and you don’t, it means
you are a (__________) and you would not want to be that
(You should know that by now.)
Every Season ‘Tis the Season to eliminate one Joyless Word: Should.
JoyFUL is only possible when there are possibilities. Should has a way of killing possibilities, in the future and the past; in the present.
Should slams you from behind with all the power you have given away to someone (or even some group) you put on a pedestal. Somewhere, somewhen, you were impressed by the words (or, maybe, actions) of someone else. Little by little, you began to believe those words were more important and significant than your own. One day, those words became so big – so loud – they drowned out the words you once dared to squeak out as your own. Since then, should has carried the weight of all of the moments you put someone else’s priorities in front of your own. It still does. That is why, when it clobbers you, you feel it. And, it makes you feel So. Damn. Awful.
The good news is: When you acknowledge your own priorities, based on your own beliefs, and you listen to your own words, about what you value, you can ignore any should. Whomever you have invited or allowed to stand upon a pedestal will automatically fall off, or tumble down, the moment you realize the pedestal upon which he stands is constructed of the fragile material of your very own making: your infatuation with someone else. Someone you allowed yourself to copy, or mimick, or otherwise innocently emulate…who was so fascinating and fantastic that you eventually found yourself looking into your own mirror at a counterfeit you, parroting her words…impersonating the identity you mistakenly found more captivating than your own…was a fabrication. Of your own making. Come on. No one is that perfect – or ever was. You let yourself exaggerate your infatuation into what-you-now-experience as The Joyless World of Should.
So, now, it’s time to stop.
You got yourself into this, and you will get yourself out of it. You constructed it. Now you will demolish it. Here is how:
You will admit the faults, blemishes, shortcomings, vices and drawbacks of the one you put on the pedestal. (You will embrace the negative and scary things you refused to acknowledge when you insisted on being blind to your dear one’s defects. It is okay. It does not negate the admiration you hold sacred, nor does it destroy affection or love. It simply obliterates the power of should.)
When you feel small or inadequate, unaccomplished, unproductive or inept, it is because you have compared yourself to someone who is not you, and you have ascribed to that person those qualities that are your fantasy of perfection. Maybe some of the facts are real, but a few facts do not constitute a whole person.
Anyone whom you have held in such high regard has qualities that are not so desirable, too. It’s your task to acknowledge those qualities – that are not so pretty, cool, fabulous, amazing…. Otherwise, you will compare yourself to an impossible vision of greatness.
You will admit the blessings, benefits, gifts, virtues and advantages you offer the world in his place. (You will embrace the positive awesome things you refused to see in yourself while you practiced and tried to be someone else. It is okay. It does not turn you into a monster. It gives you the relief you seek.)
Unless you acknowledge your own fantastic and wonderful qualities, someone else will seem better. That puts you in a pit of pitiful anxiety. Are you burying yourself in a ditch of unbearable insignificance?
Anxiety is feedback, people. It is not a disorder. It is feedback. In this case, it is feedback that you are exalting someone while disparaging yourself. Anxiety is feedback that something is out of alignment: Your nervous system is signaling an alarm that you are lying to yourself.
No one is better than you. No one’s priorities or beliefs are better than yours – for you or anyone else in this world. What you value counts. Your words are worth communicating. Your ideas matter. Your actions are essential. You, as you, are vital to this universe. (I know it. But you don’t. Yet.)
Get to work on Task #1 and Task #2. Make both lists looooooong. Then, use these sentences to take your life back from the joylessness of should:
No one is better than me.
No one’s priorities or beliefs are better than mine – for me or anyone else in this world.
What I value counts.
My words are worth communicating.
My ideas matter.
My actions are essential.
I, as myself, am vital to this universe.
Get rid of SHOULD, and feel the freedom and lightness of your own fantastic genius and worth.