Write Yourself Happy – What I “Should” be Writing About
As I continue with Shannon and her Write Yourself Happy journal link-up, today I have made the decision to go off from the scheduled prompt. When I looked ahead at the prompt “10 Things I Love About My Family”, I simply became sad. The past year has changed the structure of my family and I am grateful for my husband and the wonderful friends who are like sisters but the reality is at a very young age, I am technically an orphan.
For most days, I do well with my status. Parents are supposed to die before their children – this is the natural progression of life. However, I SHOULD be in my 50’s or 60’s before ever losing the people who are responsible for my creation. My Dad SHOULD be retired and spending his retirement years golfing and fishing (and continuing to spoil me although I’m adult). My Mom SHOULD be spending her afternoons in her yard, enjoying the sunshine and her plants.
But this is not the world that I have in front of me. Spending time thinking about what Should be takes away from the now.
Yesterday afternoon, as I wrote in my personal journal – I used a strain of “SHOULDs”. I wrote that I SHOULD be doing more this week.I SHOULD be organizing the closets full of items from two other homes. I SHOULD be making more plans towards growing my practice. I SHOULD be feeling something different in regards to my personal grief (always my favorite).
As I wrote the string of sentences – I knew I was being irrational. I had not openly said SHOULD to myself but sitting down with my journal and pen provided a space for me to hear the underlying mantra that exists.
To state you SHOULD be doing something is self criticism. Each time I used the word, I was beating myself up one little piece at a time. I would never say those things to my friends. The reality is there are very few things that I SHOULD be doing. I may need to make more plans about my practice. I may need to organize my week better but I can only do what I can do.
All of this lead me to think about this link-up I am participating in and what I SHOULD be writing about.I am participating in this link up because I am a believer in the power of journal writing and I want to share with my friends and readers how much I believe in the way your life can change. I realized that this prompt took me someplace I didn’t want to go and changed direction. Knowing what is best is one of the most important gifts you can give yourself. It often takes years to develop the skill as most of us are wired to do what we are told, to follow along with everyone else – all because…… Sadly, we often don’t know where the SHOULDs originate.
Today, I listened to the SHOULDs in my life and recognized they are not significant.When I broke the sentences down – they hold no power. They are not valid and do not deserve to be in my life. I am and have accomplished more in the past year and a half in my life than I could possibly give myself credit for. I am proud of that and the person I am becoming.
How many times a day do you criticize yourself? Are you aware of the SHOULDs in your life? Take some time today to become aware of the self talk and be kind to yourself.
Sheryl is a transition coach, trainer and speaker from Lexington Kentucky. As the author of the blog How to Make A Life, she uses her own life and journey as a blueprint to help others find motivation, inspiration and hope for a healthy and happy life. About Twitter Instagram Pinterest