Yes, it's been ages since I've blogged. You don’t have to remind me, because I already have a pesky voice that says, “You should keep up!”
Being someone who supports women in casting off the restraints of conditioning that’s knocked the wind out of their sails and tamed them into someone other than themselves, I find "shoulds" tiresome. They’re only helpful if we recognize that they’re alerting us to something. If we pay attention to the signal, we might ask ourselves:
What’s the choice and what’s the abdication of a choice?
When we aren’t aware "shoulds" can perpetuate a cycle of parroting and miss placed identity that keep us disconnected from the truth of our being. Theirs nothing that exposes groupthink and disassociation with self more than parroted niceties signaling compliance. Sadly, many cultures foster this behavior so well that sometimes we need a period of recovery to break with the track that keeps the pattern functioning.
Once a counselor suggested that I practice flipping people off when they made me mad after surmising my deeply ingrained "good girl" and "shoulding" tendencies! That may sound ridiculous to you, but it was the beginning of self-permission granting. To my very emotional friend who threw a television over a balcony after catching her kids breaking the rules, he suggested practicing restraint. :)
Are you inundated with "shoulds"?” Berated with the message to “keep up?” The truth is, most women know how to hustle and keep up. Plenty of us were steeped in hoop jumping at an early age, so instead we’re learning to create an inner climate of self-kindness, rather than brute force.
And it’s this kind of “Personal hospitality” that allows us the space to be present, listen and get clear about our inner being. And through clarity sometimes we’ll find the need to break with the old choir so we can hear our own voice. And don’t be surprised when making healthy changes if eyebrows rise, or whispers of “revolt” ensue, only further confirming the need to take the reins of personal agency. It’s the road back to oneself and the road to a healthy untaming.
Life is too short to be bullied into “shoulding.” In twenty years from now, you’ll either remember the life you celebrated or the life you abdicated by “shoulding.”
If you're local to Charlotte, NC and know it's time to grow your own personal hospitality, join us this fall for: Uprising! The Happiness Shift. Register now! Space is limited. Find out more here!