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,
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.