“Should” is not a bad word. It’s not something to avoid at all costs. There are times that the “shoulds” in life can be a great comfort. When you don’t have the bandwidth to be making so many decisions in the course of a day—pausing to consider every time what it really is you want, God might be inviting you to, and how you might respond freely—it can be relieving to have a set of expected ways of being in your life. “I should drink water and move my body” can get you out of a stuck place where you just can’t find a desire for either one. At some point, the hope is that those good things would flow from a deep knowing in you, rather than an external demand; but sometimes it’s okay to just move into what has been offered to you as “the way”. Talking about “the shoulds” this week has not been for the purpose of abandoning every expectation that has shaped your life and way of being in the world. It’s about *noticing* those (when you have space for that kind of reflective awareness!) and allowing yourself to be invited into freedom, particularly when there has been some kind of restrictiveness coming out of the shoulds of your life. Discovering their roots. Letting the ones that don’t bring life fall to the ground. But it is a slow process, this freedom, this opening out into new possibilities. It comes with loss, too, as some of the structures that had held us/our faith together (in some way) fall away. So be gentle with yourself. If you have had a sense that God might be inviting you to explore how the shoulds are ruling your life and limiting your freedom, and you have space for that right now, go there. If you are in a tender place that the scaffolding of what-should-be is comforting and helpful, let it support you there. (No need to add to them with a “you should be letting go of the shoulds”!) What is the invitation for you right now? Can you let that be, whatever it is?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2023-03-17 14:57:55 UTC