The push towards self-improvement is fierce in American culture. It permeates medicine, food, clothing, how we walk, how we breath, how we talk to each other and set our time. The spider weaves a beautiful web to catch it’s prey, leaving glistening threads stretched across gaps, waiting. The mentality of self-improvement are invisible lines to limit, to constrain, perhaps to kill a weakling. The word should is the last warning before being eaten alive. Once your inner monologue becomes dominated by the dictate of should, you are trapped. The little marching guards surround the heart, bayonets drawn, ready to pierce you if you continue to push in the wrong direction, because really you shouldn’t go that way.
If the prey caught amongst the spider’s threads knew the fragility of their trap, would they rip through. Should has power only in how much we believe in it. If the choice will lead to danger or poor health, than the wording changes I feel better if… – no scolding, no judgement, no bayonet. If the choice is an idea that you fertilized It is the time to do it… If the concern is how treatment of others or use of time or meals to eat or clothing to wear or books to read or conversations to have – why place it within the paradigm of punishment – should. That word holds regret. That word holds judgement. That word is a pressure to avoid failure. Our brains power the spider, design the web, and lead ourselves to the trap well laid. We can lay new tracks with thoughts that lead not to demise, but rather to celebration. I propose that one step is to rid the word should from the dictionary of my inner world.