August 24, 2009
I’ve gathered my thoughts and I do have a philosophy to share, but first, a follow-up about the peach festival.
It turns out that every orchard ran out of peaches. Why? Well, we learned that there were over 20,000 attendees (more than triple the amount of the usual crowd), and due to the more-rainy-than-normal Spring, the overall peach crop was severely damaged. In fact, we found out that the orchard from which we bought our “seconds” – which are fantastic by the way – only harvested 15% of their usual crop. Yikes. We also learned that while the heavy rain causes the trees to blossom later in the season, the fruit is less plentiful but each peach is considerably larger. The tree uses all of the nutrients that it has stored up for a normal crop and sends it to the fewer peaches that are there.
Interesting, no? I’m sure this is more than you ever thought you’d know about peach farming (orcharding?).
Anyway, moving on to my Deep Thought for the Day, one day later:
Today’s topic is: The tyranny of the “shoulds.” I was thinking about how many times during the day we say to ourselves, "I should". It seems like when we say “I should,” it implies that what we’re already doing isn’t good enough or worthy enough. People say, I should lose weight, or I should be more organized, or I should worry about this or that; which completely negates the facts that these people are beautiful just as they are, that they are doing the best that they can at the moment, and that worrying never changed the outcome of anything!
Of course there are always things that we could do better. And it’s always wise to keep improving upon ourselves. But let me ask you this: When you’re hearing the “shoulds” in your mind, whose voice is saying them? Is it the voice of a person who gave you bad advice and who may not have had your best interests at heart? Is it the voice of someone who was constantly condescending and demeaning toward you? Is it your own voice who has bought into the lies you have been told about yourself and your worth as a person?
Instead of getting caught up in the “shoulds” of life, I think it’s better if we turn off the voices in our minds and instead listen to the feeling in our core. When you start to tell yourself, “I should be doing such-and-such differently,” find a quiet place and see what your gut is telling you. If it’s telling you that it’s time to make a change then you’ll know it’s the right time and you’ll have success at whatever it is that you are trying to achieve. But if it feels wrong deep inside, then it IS wrong, and there is no “should” about it.
Simply put, “shoulds” mean that we are judging ourselves too harshly. While it’s good to have high expectations for oneself, we need to recognize what we are already doing that is beneficial and right and worthy of celebration.
Think about this for a moment: Would you treat your best friend as negatively as you treat yourself? What makes them more deserving of love and appreciation than you?