April 30, 2012

The dreaded "should" and the Serenity Prayer

The most useful concept I ever learned in therapy* was letting go of the "shoulds." This was a tremendous struggle for me. I had a lot of "shoulds."

Children should be tucked in at night.
We should keep the house clean.
People shouldn't litter.
Everyone should volunteer and donate to charity.
Couples should talk everything out.
Parents should keep their kids from getting mentally ill.

With advanced age I get that those are not "shoulds" and that life really only has a few of them. Unconditional love for those in our care. Have good intentions. Try. That may be it.

The Serenity Prayer SO helps. I've let go of so many SHOULDs, and find it helps me feel proud of everything else instead of trapped by it. Lately I'm letting go of shoulds like crazy and it feels good. Adding WANTS.

*YES, I have been in therapy before - my beef is with bad therapy - I'm a big fan of therapy.

2 comments:

  1. I'm an agnostic, but I do LOVE the serenity prayer. If I had to pick a life motto, that would be it.

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  2. Everyone should read the serenity prayer - sorry, couldn't resist! I agree. I first heard it when I was 11 or 12 and the elderly priest who helped out in church used to close the services with it. A very good message to send people off with.

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