Thursday, July 24, 2014

The "Should" Trap


I shouldn't eat that ice cream...

I should be having children at my age...

I shouldn't be spoiling my dog like this...

I shouldn't buy that dress, even though I can afford it...

Every day, I have a running dialogue in my head which sounds much like this. I feel like I am in a constant battle with the "should's" and "should not's" in my life. I call it the "Should" Trap.

Now of course there is a balance between eating that ice cream and a healthy lifestyle or buying that dress and maxing out your credit card. But how many of life's joys do we pass up because we "should" or "should not"?

I thought about this recently thanks to some blog posts I read about swimsuits. Swimsuit season is dreaded by so many women out there who will, time and time again, sit out from fun with their families because of their bodies. How many men do you see sitting on the sidelines, even the ones with pot bellies and balding heads? I can't think of one! Maybe in this case, the men are on to something...

Since the "Should" Trap often causes us to miss out on happiness, it makes me wonder why I fall into it so often. Where do these expectations comes from? Who says I don't have the perfect bikini body? Some woman in a magazine who is likely airbrushed and I will never meet? Who says 26 is the time in life when I should be having children? Maybe I should be more concerned about what point in life is best for me and my husband.

I am so tired of being enslaved to unrealistic expectations. I have allowed them to make me unhappy for so long. I want to start enjoying life's balance between responsibility and fun. Because if you think about it, there is room for both! So often we choose responsibility when we don't really have to. Let's choose fun. Let's choose happiness! Let's stay out of the "Should" Trap.

What things cause you to fall into the "Should" Trap?