I remember sitting there with people I loved, feeling like I just didn't belong. Something in me didn't resonate with the heart of our conversation.
Pointing fingers, making accusations, gossiping, judging...there was nothing uplifting about it.
But I was afraid to speak up, because if I did, I was convinced I'd risk losing the thing I wanted most.
I wanted to belong.
To know that I too, was unconditionally loved and accepted. I was so afraid that I was willing to silence my self.
I decided to prioritize who I thought I should be over who I actually was.
The Should's of Life are weights that crush us. Expectations that become harsh instructors, transforming the unpredictable beauty of today into an obstacle course we can only survive if we stick to the script.
But the truth is, I needed to accept that I was different. That my thoughts were different, my opinions were different. Finding the courage to speak up started inside of me.
With giving myself the acceptance I craved.
I needed to accept that who I am is who I am. Enough.
I needed to choose to love myself by valuing my own voice. My own thoughts. Respecting my own heart.
I needed to give myself permission to dare to be different from who I thought I should be.
To grow. To change. To discover. To begin releasing the pressure of expectations and embrace the journey of learning to be me.
I needed to Release the Should's.
It's been a long road. I still often find myself thinking, I should ___________ (insert choice that conforms to expectations here). But as things shift, I'm learning to catch Should in it's tracks and replace it with Choice.
The choice to make conscious decisions.
The choice to own it (without shaming myself) when I've made a mistake.
The choice to grow instead of staying stuck in my expectations, or the expectations of others.
As I Release the Should's, I'm discovering that I have the power to give myself acceptance I crave, and I'm slowly breaking free from the weight of expectations.
How about you? Would you like to practice Releasing the Should's with me?
Try replacing I should ________ (insert choice/activity here) with
I can ________ (insert choice/activity here) if I choose to.
I will _________ (insert choice/activity here) if my heart says yes.
Let's Release the Should's together. Let's give ourselves permission to dare to be different. To dare to embrace the journey of discovering who we actually are.
I'll be right here, practicing with you.