There’s a word we use regularly that often serves only as a tool for beating ourselves up.
We tell ourselves we “should” do one thing, even though we feel called to do another thing.
We ruminate over the things we “should” have done.
We regret the things we “shouldn’t” have done.
With these thoughts on feelings come self-criticism.
Typically, to excess.
We let these thought patterns play out over and over again.
For years, sometimes decades.
Never letting go of the past.
Never embracing our future.
Often allowing these “shoulds” to be driven by others’ expectations.
What we think others want us to do.
What we think society wants us to do.
Either never living for ourselves, or second-guessing ourselves when we do.
Yet, by living according to these “shoulds”, we never feel like we’re actually living.
We never feel like we’re actually ourselves.
We feel as though we’re constantly striving to live up to others’ expectations.
Everyone’s but our own.
And falling short.
What if we let go of all these “shoulds”?
What if we simply lived, learned, and grew?
According to our own ideas of our best lives?
You deserve better than a life full of “shoulds”.
You are worthy of accepting who you are.
Trading all those counterfactuals for reality.
For what is.
What has been.
What you want to be.
Accepting who you are.
“I should have….”
“I shouldn’t have…”
“I want to do this but I should do that…”
Stop should-ing yourself.
Live your life.
Learn from your failures and successes.
Rinse and repeat.
You will never be perfect.
There will always be things you could do differently.
It’s okay to make mistakes.
To try and fail.
You are worthy of a most excellent life.
A life that you’ve chosen.
You’ve got this.