Should is the sledgehammer of shame,

wielded against the marrow of our souls.

 

“You should have known better.

You should do what you’re told.

You should let go of what’s old.

You should already be evolved…”

 

Robbing us of our spontaneity,

humanity,

vulnerability,

and any sense of worth.

It tells us that frailty is inexcusable.

Omnipotence and omniscience requirements for acceptance.

That somehow our futures can inform the past

in concrete and solid ways.

We do not know what we do not know.

 

This weapon of mass destruction,

the torturous instruction

to be something other than we are.

To conform, follow the norm, or be ever informed.

This pounding shattering soul-crushing illusion

that holds us in heart-aching confusion,

that hides so close to the desire for greatness,

stealing words from our higher selves’ edicts,

and twisting them into whips

with which we scar our own backs.

 

 

Stop. Shoulding. on yourself.

Put down the hammer you have used

to punish yourself for being human.

Listen, yes, for the wellspring of discernment.

The wisdom to make life-giving choices.

The knowing of when a misstep needs atonement.

But do not contort to the whims

of a half-awake world.

Do not cast yourself out

from the circle of your own love,

for any of the ways weakness, failure,

or especially authenticity find you.

Let not your mind bind you.

Speak words that unwind you.

Allow intention to define you.

And hold up your open hand.

resting in the breath at the beginning of creation.

the precious petals still spiraled over center.

trusting in the lightless journey of incubation

and the wisdom of growth’s unfolding; beyond fear.

 

I have grown accustomed to being excellent at everything I do.

I have convinced myself that I must do it all alone.

A forgetting that evolution is ongoing,

and we have ever-shifting knowings

of what is true.

And that I am partially made of you.

Wanting the promised satisfaction of completion,

without accepting the necessity of uncertainty;

the fragmentation required for deeper integration.

The interdependence inherent in real power.

We revere the fully-bloomed flower,

adore its scent and beckoning openness.

But the mountaintop is only one moment of the trail.

The fragrance of forgiveness may draw us towards freedom,

but darkened woods and bottomless chasms

elicit many a vital despairing wail.

 

Baby birds, bits of primordial viscousness

sticking to their uncoordinated wings,

do not judge themselves for their undeveloped ability to sing.

Roses do not believe they will only be worthy of love when their petals unfurl.

And lion cubs roar with abandon, regardless of their obvious harmlessness.

Embrace unblossomedness.

How can you expect to be at your destination when you are still on the road?

Why collapse your life into someone else’s mold?
What if you stopped demanding perfection,

allowing life its own form of completion?

Put down the sledgehammer of should, 

shaming the sap out of your soul

Put down the chisel and awl,

and rest in ever-curious awe

at the beauty of your becoming:

the unplanable inevitability of your timeless blossoming.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry