Was there ever such a painful, unhelpful word? I have detested it since it was first used on me and there were times when I would use it constantly on myself.
You should do this.
You shouldn't do that.
I have a saying on my bathroom mirror that I look at it every morning:
Please, Gaia, don't let me should on myself today.It is a word of failure. Of heartbreak.
'I should have done this to keep him, make her happy, played with the children more, spent more time with my mother' and on.
Sometimes I count the number of times people say it to me or about themselves during the day.
"You should walk more."
"I should go on a diet."
What a waste of breath those shoulds are.
For, you know, we all do things when we are good and ready and not because we were shoulded into it.
My doctor tells me I am diabetic, I should control my blood sugars for my own good before I have to take injections. I should take better care of my health. I should make a plan. I should make sure I live a valuable and productive life and for this I should start with my own health.
I tune out on all the shoulds. Shrug on my shawl of denial, heave the helpful pamplets and books under something and carry on as before.
But guess what gets my attention?
I've always taken a foolish vanity in my full head of hair, enough for two heads as one of my aunts would say. And guess what, I've been losing it in handfuls this past year. I must have lost, oh, 3/4 of my hair.
And finally, finally, last week I check on the web about hair loss. And yup, diabetes affects both the hormones and the auto-immune system and yup, this results in dramatic hair loss.
This gets my attention more than any shoulding in the world would and jump starts me out of denial and into, yup, action.
A bald WWW is just not in the cards.
But please, never, ever should me.
And I'll do the same for you.