It's been brought to my attention... more like plastered on a billboard with flashing neon lights strapped to my forehead, that much of my downward spirals into despair begin at the very moment when I think or say "should."
"Should" sets up this realm of expectation that only I know about. These visions and ideas of how things "should" be. How I "should" be as a mother and a wife. What my life "should" look like by now at 31.
But not only does the word "Should" usually generate an unrealistic view or expectation, but it also implies that I have failed, fallen short, or been disappointed by others who have failed me or fallen short of my standards.
It's then that the downward spiral of guilt, sadness, self shaming, doubt, grief, hopelessness and feelings of failure take over me. My thoughts about all the ways I have/others have, failed me and soon after I fall into a pit of "never" land.
Because things are not how I think they "should" be, it means they will most likely "never" meet those expectations. The negative self talk and the loathing of my inner and outer self take hold of me, strangling me until I can no longer breathe.
And then, I'm at the edge of the cliff, ready to just do it. Take the plunge. Get it over with because what's the point of continuing when nothing will ever be as I have determined it "should" be.
Nothing short of a slight breeze will push me over the edge and then it will be all over with.
But what if instead of "should" , I replace it with "would like it (if/to be..) " then it is no longer about these definite constraints that must be met in order to attain my false perception of happiness.
Instead, those constraints are erased and I am free to choose how I'd like my life to be and work towards those goals, which may bend and change with time and ... life. I'm free to be flexible and forgiving not just of myself but of others as well.
I give myself room to grow, make mistakes, figure out what works and what doesn't work. I can learn to be patient with myself and be okay with exactly where myself or others are at that moment in life.
I can just look around and say, "I would like for XYZ" to be a certain way. It may or may not happen but only time can tell."
If you read this rant all the way through... thank you. This is me just dumping out my thoughts here after a literal verbal explosion of emotions on my husband this morning after coming to the realization that I am so empty and depleted and lonely in this marriage because I have a vision of or expect him to be a certain way.
We should be best friends who talk to one another about everything.
He should be able to open up to me but he never does. I never know anything about what is on his mind. I am completely shut out of his world because we just can't relate to one another anymore. And to me... that is not how my marriage "should " be.
So, I kicked "should" out, expressed how I wished things could be, and let go.