What do you feel inside when reading that word and letting it echo in your system? Please note that I’m not talking about emotions but rather the kinaesthetic of it… the vibe in the system. For me there is tension, disaccord, pain, confusion. Interestingly, if the words are “you should”, and if I turn attention to the strong emotions and reactions that arise, the loudest noise comes from anger by the rebellious and hurt part of me that developed early in my life.
To me, using should and shouldn’t imply an energy of forcing, of attempting to shoehorn life into a corner. It also suggests that there’s a singular reality or truth of which the speaker believes to have knowledge. It implies that there’s definitive Right and Wrong. But, is this true? One person says something is right, while the other says the same thing is wrong. Perspective.
What is certain is that each would produce an outcome, and that’s where it becomes interesting for me. What’s the kinaesthetic of each product? Which feels like it would produce an outcome that brings happiness and freedom for all beings everywhere? We all want to be happy. Even the most obstinate of us really do want to be happy. Illusion and lack of a disciplined mind blind us to the source of joy and contentment. In the words of HH the 14th Dalai Lama, “The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes.” And, “A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.”
So instead of ‘should’, I remind myself to use the word ‘could’. To me, this opens the door for possibility, creativity, ingenuity, and wisdom.
PS- …I didn’t realise until now how grateful I am of the bitter, impassioned and infuriated part of me. It has caused a lot of issues in my life, and it certainly hasn’t been fun to live with–not in living with myself, and certainly not for those closest to me. But perhaps it’s also the source of my seeking balance and equanimity, and to desire inquiry and perspectives outside of my own myopic view. Again, perspective.