The Shoulds and Coulds

Photo by Giuseppe Ruco on Unsplash

Large chunks of our lives are devoted to what we think we should do, who we think we should be.

All the shoulds and coulds can be so very loud and prominent as we learn to navigate self identity.

This could very be a part of the evolutionary process into adulthood, but this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be something we pay attention to and be mindful and intentional in dissecting.

There are so many beliefs that are poured over us from very young.

As a young girl I believed that I was supposed to be good.

Being good meant, among other things, being pure.

This required waiting until marriage for physical intimacy, marriage being the pinnacle of a woman’s experience.

In a marriage she could then live and fulfill her life’s purpose of being a wife and becoming a mother.

While these can be incredibly beautiful things, they lead women to believe that once they have these things they will be happy and fulfilled.

It teaches women to find their value in what they do, as well as to find their meaning in relation to others, particularly in their service to the people who surround them

Happiness and fulfillment do not come from anything external, though these things can be sources of great joy.

This was a shocking blow to me as a young woman when my own short lived marriage crumbled to pieces, resulting in feelings of failure, devastation, and very real thoughts of ending my life.

What failed me was the idea that I could find fulfillment in anything outside of myself, whether that be a role or a person.

Being a woman, being an individual, is so much more than the roles we play and fill, and certainly more than we can ever give.

This is an example of just one of the lies we choose to believe.

That lie that we can ‘put on’ our identity and that who we are is found in the labels and roles we play.

The downside is this belief that develops as a result, “If only I get ____________, then I’ll be happy.”

The coulds and woulds are so easy to put on and take off, and yet always utterly unsatisfying.

If I could do ____________, then I’ll be happy, successful, known, appreciated, valued.

If I would do ____________, then I’ll be seen, recognized, loved.

Trying on roles as easily as a costume in this constant search for meaning.

When really we what we need to do is peel them all off.

Strip away all that isn’t authentically us, all that doesn’t belong to us.

It’s an evolutionary process, completion or having every ‘made it’, is an illusion.

The finding of ourselves only emerges in the process, again and again, and again.

But, friend, who you are isn’t found in any role you wear, or title you gain, or thing you do for another.

They asked her,

“What is real happiness?”

She answered,

“Happiness is not fulfilling every pleasure or

getting every outcome you desire. Happiness

is being able to enjoy life with a peaceful mind

that is not constantly craving for more. It is

inner peace that comes from embracing change.”

yung pueblo | being

Find your peace, friend.

Look for it within you and not in the roles you play or in the people who love you.

Always,

Your Trusted Friend ❤️

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