A large part of Being My True Self over the past several years is building on the idea of “shoulds”. I have read and studied this concept as part of my work, so it is certainly not mine. However, I have done a lot of work in my own life and use it almost daily to help clients that come to see me professionally.
So, a should is any idea or rule that says that things in life have to be a certain way to be ok or “right” (I take issue with this word, but that is for another day).
When I think of shoulds, I think of them as being short cuts to the original good or healthy idea. For instance, I want to eat healthy foods like leafy greens and fruits because I feel so much better and have more energy and mental clarity when I do. Over time its easier to say I should eat healthy foods like leafy greens and fruits. So, what happens is that then I will be in a situation where I’m presented with a doughnut (which is definitely not on the healthy foods list) and all I will hear is “I should not eat that doughnut”. For many people, including me, when I hear this in the face of my desire/craving for a doughnut, I get a teenage attitude that says back “I’ll eat a doughnut if I want to eat a doughnut, damn it”. So, I end up doing the thing that I decided wasn’t a good idea, but because it was disconnected form the reason why, it just became a rule that in the moment I didn’t like.
So, for me, its about keeping the connection to the reason I decided something was a good idea. I want to eat healthy foods because I like how I feel when I do.
These shoulds can come from other people too. And society. I should get married before I have children. I should become a doctor because all the women in my family are doctors. That kind of thing.
So, building resiliency is more about this second type of should. We are bombarded by shoulds all the time. Any time we are around people that think differently than we do. I have worked really hard the last few years to surround myself with people that don’t should me; who accept me just how I am… not only accept me, but celebrate who I am. I have had to do a lot of weeding with regard to this, but it is well worth it. As this is what builds the resiliency necessary to go into groups of people that think different and be able to hold my own, to Be My True Self regardless of what those people have to say about what they think I should be or should not be.
So, today, Being My True Self is all about recognizing that I am exactly who I am meant to be, warts and all, and surrounding myself with people who accept me completely, so that I can go out into the world and not be brought down by other peoples shoulds!
Thank you, Tribe, for providing a nourishing environment in which I could grow and become everything that I am meant to Be!! I Love You All!