Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Problem with Shoulds


This word can easily sour my mood.

Should's imply that a) you don't know what is best for you, and b) what you're doing isn't enough.

Recently my mom told me that I should get out of Paonia and go to grad school. It's hard to feel acknowledged for the work that I'm doing or valued in the ways that I am growing in the face of a should. It's challenging to feel accepted or seen for who I am.

Sometimes, we end up disappointing others. This is hard and painful, especially if you tend to seek the approval of others (me), but it is necessary. If we lived our lives by the values and standards of others, it would stop being fun. We experience aliveness when we make choices that are born from our desire to contribute to life. When we act out of fear, guilt, shame, duty, or obligation, life starts feeling uncomfortable and foreign.

The people who inspire me most have often shrugged off the should's and committed themselves to everyday courage. Courage is acting in spite of your fears, and though these acts are often overlooked or unseen, they are worth celebrating.

How have you practiced ordinary courage lately?

Early morning pee.

Just another person walking their goats down Main St. These miniature milking goats pass ordinances in many towns and cities.  


  1. Ive been trying to cut these out of my vocab for awhile! Thanks for a great post and beautiful pictures! :)

  2. Girl. I adore this post. Eloquently said. Your boots are in the exact spot on the road they're supposed to be. And the road is dirt.

    1. Lady, you inspire me to keep on writing. Thanks for your words. <3

  3. You are a beautiful writer. I also have a problem with should. I think a lot of the expectations pushed onto us are a social construction...our society has trained us to live a certain life. What about what we are naturally inclined to do?

    I look forward to reading more.

  4. Thanks! Just found this here. Sometimes I'm so mixed up about what I'm inclined to do, because I seek praise and approval like a cat on the prowl. I LOVE your blog! Keep writing lady so I can follow along.