Shoulds and supposed to be’s

What if as children we were all told repeatedly by caregivers, advertisers, religious and political leaders that everything is on the table–  that you can play with any toys you want to, that you can grown up and not get married,  have children or not, love who you want, wear what is comfortable for you, call yourself what you want.  What if there were no boxes to check or fit into–

What if the true, sanctioned and rewarded goal for everyone was to find and be who you really are and not hurt yourself or anyone else along the way?  

What if the skills we were taught were not to repress, follow along or behind, but to locate our genuine voice and use it to find the way to be and express ourselves, while not getting in anyone else’s way while they were doing the same. 

Currently,there are outside voices that drown out the inside voice and sometimes even replace it. Those outside voices are fueled by fear: you’ll be poor, you’ll be lonely, you’ll die alone, you’ll get hurt, everyone will think you’re crazy or stupid…

The task is excavation, getting still enough to be able to discern the real from the Should and Supposed to be’s.  It’s taken me half my life to hear well from the inside.   The biggest “mistakes”  I’ve made in my life are directly attributable to attempts to be or do something that isn’t inherently me. The good news is that the pain I suffered as a result of those mistakes lessons hurt enough for me to wake up and correct my course, again!

Constant course correction IS the path of life.  I’ve  begun to accept that there is no auto -pilot that keeps me barreling ahead in a well-defined, always meness route.  I need to be still daily, I sometimes need to stop in the midst of a situation to breathe and listen intently, and I often have to readjust, back up, even apologize, and re-set -when I didn’t  listen or couldn’t hear.    Sometimes the fear voices are  just yelling so loudly and so convincingly that it’s impossible to hear my heart.

What if the  driving fears were transformed:  Is this what feels right for me?  Am I hurting myself? Am I hurting someone else? Is this truly what I want or need? Am I afraid of a supposed to be?

Of course the outside voices are here now: you are so ridiculous, that’s not realistic, pie in the sky, Kumbaya – that’s never gonna happen.

 But Today I listened to and wrote down my inside voice.


3 Responses

  1. As usual, you are right on target. Just keep digging and moving forward.

  2. I too have often ignored my inner voice, raised the radio louder to chase the voices in my head…much to my detriment. Who knew conversations with myself would be my salvation. Just have to remember to roll up the windows. Other drivers just don’t understand.

  3. Please keep writing pieces like this!

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