The costs of ‘should’: ‘Should’, such a little word, yet as I see it it is the center cause of suffering:
1) ‘Should’ creates resistance:
Whether it’s a ‘should’ towards myself “I should not eat this cookie” or a ‘should’ towards others “You should clean the dishes right after eating!”, It can easily stimulate a resistance (which is sad) such as “Don’t tell me what to do!” as it might touch the need to ‘act out of my own spirituality’ (the need for freedom, choice, autonomy).
2) ‘Should’ fights reality:
When I say to my girlfriend: “you should be more attentive to me now” , the reality now is that she is not (as she is attentive to her own pain, or to tiredness…). Same is if I say to myself: “I should be more energetic”. And I am not.
As Byron Katie says: “The only suffering exists is when we fight reality, reality itself is compassion”.
3) ‘Should’ fights the body (fight between the voice of ‘should’ & the voice of ‘want’):
If I think: “I should be more patient towards my child”: the voice of ‘should’ calls my attention to a precious need, for example ‘Care’: I want my child to be treated with care, and I want to care for our relation .
Yet, the voice of ‘should’ is only half of me. The other half is my body- The voice of ‘want’- I do feel impatient, and for good reasons: for example, the impatient is telling me I really need rest to recharge myself . Thank you dear impatience for calling me to include my well-being in the care for the whole family!
Both the voice of ‘Should’ (mind) and ‘want’ (body) are preciously trying to care for important needs. In my growing up I learned to direct my life mostly from my mind: “I should be more disciplined”. Nobody taught me that the voice of ‘want’ that comes from the body, is equally precious and intelligent. I learned to be afraid of the voice of ‘want’: “If you just do what you want, you will end up in the streets”, “You can’t only do what you want, there are things you have to do. Grow up, you can’t stay a child forever!”
Yet the more I get to know the depth of the voice of ‘want’, the more I am amazed to see how it leads me into magic, into experiencing life to the fullest and into meaningful relationships.
Here below are 2 intimate examples of the challenge and the magic in including the voice of ‘want’ into my action.
Let the body design my life- my body as my spiritual guide:
My mind is filled with images I collected from books, stories, films and words people told me; Images as to how relationship ‘should’ or ‘suppose’ to look like and how life should be lived. Acting out of those images, is risking to push away the intelligence of my body.
I find it damn scary to trust the intelligence of my own body. To trust that my body knows things that my brain doesn’t, that it knows a lot about the art of navigating life and relationships.
I find it hard to trust my body, and yet, I fucked up enough relationships (by pushing myself through ‘should’), that I am very motivated to try something else…
Here are 2 small daily examples:
→ ‘Not speaking’:
2 weeks ago, I had 2 full quality days to spend with my partner (her daughter was away with her Dad). Suddenly I didn’t feel like speaking, for few hours.
My mind immediately started to ramble: “Common, don’t become an autist now, we have these special days together, you should open up!”. The more I ‘should’ myself to open up the more I closed down…
I decided to follow this body voice (that my mind didn’t understand), and simply I stayed quiet. My mind was torturing me with thoughts: “maybe I don’t love her anymore… Maybe our relation is over… What’s wrong with me that I am so distanced..”. Yet I managed to stay loyal to the voice of ‘want’ and kept quiet, while also holding the ‘should’ voice with care: “Yes dear mind, you are worried that I am quiet, you really want to be sure that my girlfriend enjoys being with me. You want so much our relation to continue…”.
Suddenly, after a few hours, I felt a very different quality rising in me- It was a voice of ‘want’ from the body (which my mind again didn’t understand), a quality of wanting to move towards her, see her, hear her, be with her, play with her. This inner move stayed as an intimate closeness for 2 full days. Where did that energy came from??
At the end, even my mind could understand: Yes, I was actually tired, stressed and confused. My body simply called me to rest, to turn inward to re-find myself. So sweet! My body knows things about me that my mind has no idea about!
→ ‘Making love’:
Few days ago, while starting making love with my partner, I noticed images crossing my mind. Images as to ‘what to do’: Maybe I should now kiss her breast? Maybe to penetrate? Maybe I should change position…?
Though the images disconnected me, not following them was damn scary: “Will she interpret it as ‘I don’t want’ or not attracted to her? Will she get annoyed that it is not fun to be intimate with me? Will she see me as ‘weird’ and that something is wrong with me…?”
Luckily enough I remembered to breath- To stop doing, to stop searching- To breath into the unknown: “I don’t know what I want, I don’t know what to do and I don’t know what should happen…”. In the moment it feels terrible. I did nothing for a minute or two, breathing…
And then, something happened. Suddenly my lips wanted to touch her lips without movement. To my surprise, doing this was more pleasurable than all I did before. Suddenly touching her skin became golden. Suddenly being inside of her felt like swimming in a deep ocean….
My mind could never design this experience, it had no idea about this path that my body carved delicately and precisely into the magic of life.
I could go on and on with 100000000 more examples (just now, I was pushing myself to continue writing this newsletter (as I wish to complete and share it with you all) and my body was resisting it. I stopped and lay down for 20 minutes, fell asleep on the floor, then woke up with a surprising energy of inspiration of WANTING to engage in writing).
It is the experiment of my life: My body as my spiritual guide (not against my mind, but in integration with it). I don’t know if it is good, and I surely don’t think that others should do the same. Yet I am super excited about it.
Hug to all, hope to see you,