Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shoulds are invasive

Lately, "should" is a word that has been creeping in around me, infusing my thoughts and conversations like an unwanted ivy that has invaded every space of my garden before I realized it was there. Now I see lengths of wiry green tendrils drape my deck, trees, swinging chair, statuary, even the bushes. And when I look closer, I see new ivy growth everywhere. The "shoulds" are buds sprouting into my life.

Personally, I am on a brink of a major change. These life-changing challenges affect every aspect of my life, from my daily awakened world of work and play to my nightly dreaming world of processing and rest. "Should" comes knocking, politely asking questions as it enters my home;

"Should I allow myself to feel...what? Sad? Happy? Relieved? All of the above?"
"Should I show these feelings? Should I scream and be dramatic or be silent and calm?"
"Should I stay away or continue on as if these moments are a continuation of a string of changing days?"
"Should I seek help or refuse it?"
"Should I rejoice or mourn?"
"Should I plan or wait to make any decisions?"

But then, the Should starts showing signs of worry, coloring the innocent questions like a drop of food dye in a crystal glass of water. I begin to hear judgments;

"She should've known."
"She should've known better."
"She should've been a better [fill in the blank with a noun]."

Is this the cousin of the innocent Should, or just another side to its personality?

Instead of becoming overwhelmed, I decide I can find a reasonable solution. Options:
  1. Change - stop using Should.
  2. Accept - so what if "should" is used?
Should can be a harsh and fierce judge standing on the soapbox of Assumption. I hope to be careful about my use of this word as I work with patrons, students, my family, and myself. Although I sometimes "should've known," I am capable of not knowing and even defiance (though not so much as when I was a teen). Despite knowledge of what we should do, we can choose to try some new style, accent, plant, life lesson...

...but with the steps in that direction comes the responsibility wrapped up in choice.

And that is a topic for another time.

May each of us balance Should with Want and find our heart's desires!

1 comment:

Sandra L. Keirsey said...

Thanks! I love it...reminds me of why I have been leaving the "should of" out of my vocabulary lately.

I didn't realize that this was you :-)