When PLAY became SHOULD
WARNING: Reading this may cause change….and that can be confusing.
About a year and a half ago it felt as though I was at a junction. Plummet into depression, or more like meaninglessness and “what’s the point anyway” attitude. A place that I had been many times, and I didn’t care to go there, but at the junction I stood and I knew that I had to put my intention on JOY, PLAY, GRATITUDE and LOVE.
So, I did. And it was transformational, like PLAY is, a way of transforming, opening up to possibilities and letting creativity arise. I began to dance, to run, did an online summit, to connect deeper with my people, met new people, actually starting to trust that I really can shape my life.
Then, PLAY became SHOULD. Bam. PLAY and SHOULD does not go together. Should kills play. Shit. I’m supposed to be this play person/expert, but I don’t feel like playing. Great.
I once had a therapist that asked me to make a list of all my “shoulds”. I can tell you that it was a long list. This is the thing, when something becomes a should, it overrides what it really true for us, what we really desire, what we need and it most certainly deadens JOY, PLAY and CREATIVITY.
– I shouldn’t feel this way.
– I should be grateful, others are much worse of.
– You should be nicer.
– You should not be so critical.
– I should be thinner.
– I should be more fun.
– I should move instead of sitting on the sofa.
– I should be more successful.
– I should meditate/do yoga/run/spin/go to the gym
– I should….(add your own)
I don’t want to bore you, so I will try to keep it brief.
Should denies, attacks and/or controls what is real and true for you.
The kicker is though, it is really just trying to protect you. So, when we are feeling tired and heavy, we don’t like it, we want to burrow deep down in the sofa, so should goes “hang on a minute, this is not what you wanted” and it sends you a should message, shaming you into getting out of the sofa.
“I should be grateful for all that I have, I am so ungrateful, just put your head down and do your job”. Here SHOULD is trying to keep you inline, because at some point you had to keep your head down, otherwise you were not going to be ok.
It sets us up for rebelling and/or denying ourselves. NOBODY likes being told what to do, not even if it is from some sort of internalised parent saying you SHOULD do better. We rebel…Sofa it is! OR Head down it is!
Fine….SO what do I do?
This is of course a big question (it can be a good thing to ask for support) it takes focused attention to bring about change and integrating it to your own. BUT this is what a first step could be.
Let’s hear SHOULD out.
Notice the should.
Notice your reaction.
Notice your action.
What is it that your SHOULD is trying to say?
Then …. What would I really like to be feeling right now?
What are some things that make me feel that way?
How can I give myself what I need?
So, to get back to when PLAY became SHOULD. I felt as though I SHOULD play, but you know what, I shouldn’t have, because I wasn’t.
But I wanted to feel JOY, PLAYFUL, FREE and CONNECTED. I was recovering from giving birth, illness and a big move. What SHOULD was saying, was “hey you are not playing, why not, you said you wanted to” and after some time I could listen.
To allow joy, playfulness, freedom and connection to arrive I needed rest, slowness, good food, dance and good people. Then JOY and PLAY arrives again…when the conditions are there.
What are your SHOULDS and how do they mess with you?….I want to know!
With regained playfulness,