This weekend I escaped from my 'shoulds' for four full days with nothing to do but soak up the sunshine at the cottage. Pure heaven.
I did only the things I wanted to do and being far from home, I let go of my 'shoulds'. I breathed, I ate, I slept and I walked. I stayed in my pyjamas well past noon and I didn't make my bed. There were days that I didn't even comb my hair!
I listened to the water lapping against the shore and the wind rustle the leaves, and the loons call in the night. I watched the wild flowers dance in the wind and the sun sparkle on the ripples of the lake and the dragonflies land on the dock. And gradually, in the absence of 'shoulds' things began to shift.
The waves in my mind began to quiet and all those things that seemed so darned important could wait. With all the 'shoulds' removed, only the really important things, the 'big rocks' were left, and I could see more clearly.
Without all the 'shoulds', resentments melted away. It no longer seemed so irritating that someone never put the dishes in the dishwasher, or that I always had to pick up after so and so. Without these resentments. I was left only with the gratitude.
This gratitude grew in my heart. I felt love, a huge bursting love for those close to me and even those not so close to me. Their little quirks made me smile.
In the garden down by the dock there is a sign. It says 'love grows here'. And that is just what happened. In the absence of 'shoulds' love grows. In the absence of 'shoulds' perspectives shift. The fog clears and you are left with only the big rocks.
So let this be a gentle reminder; we all need to take the occasional vacation from 'shoulds', where there is nowhere to go and nothing to do and no one to look after but ourselves. We must take time to be quiet and listen to what's inside, to pay attention to the little gifts of nature that we overlook, and to recharge our spiritual batteries. We must not feel guilty or selfish because taking this time makes us better parents, better friends and better people.
I wish you all a day without 'shoulds'!!