No More Shoulding

By all means, let’s hope, wish, dream, like, or dislike anything and everything we so choose — that’s our privilege — but to believe that anything “should” be a certain way is an error in thinking, and probably contributes to our sense of suffering.

Believing things should be a certain way implies that we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how things really should be, which doesn’t seem true.

If something can happen, and does happen, then that is the way it should be, because that’s what happened. We have the right to think it should be another way, and to work on making things the way we want, but that’s the world from our viewpoint, and sometimes we change our minds, or life shows us the way it really works.

There’s also nothing we should do. We have a choice in what we do — even being alive is a choice — that is, until we don’t have a choice, in which case we can still choose to accept things as they are right now, and realize that we don’t, and can’t, control everything (as painful as that may be to accept).

So let’s exercise our power of choice, but no more shoulding over things.



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4 thoughts on “No More Shoulding”

  1. I’ve definitely been working on getting better at living in the present tense of my life. I have a bad habit of getting caught in the “Woulda Shoulda Coulda” triad and I actually recently posted about working my way out of that unhappy habit > .

    I’m right there with you, time to leave behind the should have and start living in appreciation of the choices we have and have made.


    1. Yes, I’m familiar with Woulda/Coulda/Shoulda and their three-headed stepchild Fear/Guilt/Shame, all from the land of Rumination. I think it comes from having a sensitive conscience, and a big self-reflective mirror, which is actually an amazing thing once we understand how to use it.


  2. I concur 100%. To which I’d also add the words “have to…” In lieu and in line with your post, I suggest we instead phrase it as “I choose to because…” There is much more clarity and conviction when we acknowledge the value of choice in our lives. Thanks for a good post.


    1. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t say “have to” anymore. For some people it’s not a problem, but it’s a mental burden for me. Whenever I think I should or have to do something, I ask myself why I think so, and it usually comes from a dis-empowering set of beliefs. Healthy adults choose what they do. Glad you liked the post, and thanks for your comment!


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