Who decides what we should or should not do? When I think about it, the only person putting pressure on me to do more or be something I’m really not is ME! We need to stop shoulding all over ourselves!
The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur took place last week and it’s a time of general self-reflection. I do not need a holiday to remind myself to be analytical and evaluate the general state of my life. I have a tendency to do this on a near daily basis (scary, but true… I overthink which is why writing in a journal has saved my sanity many times).
On this Yom Kippur, I focused on expectations. Much like every other person I know, I have expectations. This is just how life goes though, we have an idea of how things should be, and when they are not, we are inevitably disappointed (you can really insert any type of negative emotion here, frustrated, sad, angry, depressed, disillusioned or irate; the list goes on and on).
Something I have found to ring true in every situation is every conflict is an expectation violation. Someone expected something which was not met. Think about every fight, disagreement, or argument you have experienced. In these situations someone expected something and it was not achieved for any number of reasons. I usually find lack of communication is the problem. (If I only knew what the person wanted of me, I could have informed them if it was or was not going to happen. Then, unachievable expectations become grounded in reality and voilá problem solved!) Good communication as the cornerstone of any good relationship is a topic I could blog about ad nauseum. I had to qualify communication and say good communication because simply telling someone your thoughts without being thoughtful about how you express yourself are two very different animals.
What I would like to espouse upon is how we put expectations on ourselves. Essentially, we tell ourselves we should do this, or we should do that… we need to stop “shoulding” all over ourselves!
Who decides what we should or should not do? Any time the little voice in my head says I should call someone I’m not really interested in talking to, or I should put more effort into a relationship I feel is dwindling, who is gaining anything from my half-hearted-don’t-really-want-to-do-this effort? Truly, this applies to nearly all aspects of my personal life and how I feel about myself. I should be a better (fill in the blank) or I should fit into a size (pick any number) or weigh Xlbs. (I’m still working on the weight/body acceptance stuff – progress is getting made, but it’s a process for sure.) What is the point?!
Naturally, I am not supporting complete anarchy and saying you shouldn’t put on clothes before you leave your home because you don’t feel like it, or you shouldn’t pay your bills because it’s not something you really want to do… let’s be reasonable here people.
The shoulding I’m talking about is self-inflicted expectations. What I have learned is the only thing I SHOULD do is live my life to the fullest. Thank you. The end.