The laundry "SHOULD" be done by now...
The groceries "SHOULD" be put up...
The house "SHOULD" be cleaned every day...
Dinner "SHOULD" be hot and ready every night by the time my husband gets home...
The kids "SHOULD" be outside playing...
I "SHOULD" be playing with them like my friend posts on her social media...
We "SHOULD" eat healthy every day because that's what studies say...
You "SHOULD" be involved in every activity your child has because other moms are...
You "SHOULD" be doing more because all your friends are doing more than you...
I "SHOULD" reach all my goals and dreams by the time I am 30...
I "SHOULD" get up by 5am every morning, read my Bible and pray for at least an hour even if my kids were up all night sick and the dog threw up in his crate...
You "SHOULD"...fill in the blank...
Can you relate to any of these "SHOULD" statements? How many of them have you said to yourself? How often have you said them to yourself?
I can 100% relate to all of these if I am being honest. It's like I get up every morning and start the finger pointing before I can even get the coffee poured into my favorite Disney mug.
You know what I have discovered? I have a BULLY that comes every hour, every minute, and every second of the day.
You know what else I have discovered? Most of you do too.
That bully has a name....that name is the Should Bully!
I looked up the definition of the word should and this is what it says: used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions.
Ladies...let's get real...we "should" on ourselves way too much! We are our own worst critic!
Where did this list of "shoulds" even come from?? I mean, did someone Google it and then put it out there for all of us to see??
Let me give you some good news...there is no such thing as a SHOULD LIST! It doesn't even exist! I hope at least one of you is smiling about this right now! There is no list that you and I are supposed to be following!
I think this "should bully" has come about because of a bad habit...the habit of comparison.
We look at social media and see the highlight reels that others post, and they are looking at the highlight reels that we post.
We then say, "Wow...if she is doing this with all the other stuff going on in her life, I SHOULD too!" When she is saying, "I need to post this picture because this is what people think I SHOULD be doing."
We forget that everything we see on social media is not always real. Those perfect pictures probably took 100 times to take and then filtered to the max! Those pictures are often posted because so many of us are too ashamed to show what life is really like, and we don't want to fail the ideas people have about us...the ideas that we actually created for them to have because we listened to the should bully.
What would happen if we were real with each other and decided to not listen to that should bully anymore?
What would happen if we stopped posting things that we think people want to see and just post things that are real and honest?
What would happen if we text our friends and said "y'all I haven't done laundry in a week and my kids ate brownies for breakfast, but we are all alive and well"?
I think if we stopped "shoulding" on ourselves and started being real, we would not feel as stressed and overwhelmed.
We would realize that everyone around us is walking out this thing called LIFE, and no one's is perfect and neatly packaged together all the time.
We would stop letting comparison steal our joy and suck life away from us.
2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us in the Bible:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
What a relief! God gives us major hope right here guys. He KNEW that we would be weak...He KNEW that we would mess up...He KNEW we would not be perfect...He KNEW that we would need the help of a Savior and He freely gave it in His Son, Jesus.
To me, this verse says I don't have to act like I have it all together and act like Super Woman. I don't have to follow a lists of "SHOULD's".
Instead, I can come to my Good Father and be honest about my weaknesses and lay them at His feet. Then, He can be strong through me and help me do things in His power.
Then, we can truly do what Galatians 6:2 tells us and bear one another's burdens instead of acting like we have none. Then, we can encourage each other in our every day life; the good parts and the not so good.
So..are you ready to throat punch that should bully today? Then let's do it together.
When he tries to come at you and say "Hey...you SHOULD be up folding clothes instead of playing outside with your kids"...you tell him "Who said?!?"
When he says, "Did you see what your best friend posted on social media about being up at 5am makeup on and ready to conquer the day and you are still in your pajamas at 10am? Don't you think you SHOULD be like her?" You say, "Good for her! I love that my friend can do that but today I am resting because my body needs rest!"
We kick the should bully out by not letting the SHOULD's in anymore!
NO MORE SHOULD BULLY!
No more critizing yourself and expecting perfection from yourself!
No more comparing and loosing your joy!
You are the way God created you to be and He created you to be pretty amazing and to do amazing things!
The only way you and I can grow into what He has called and created us to be, is to stop looking at what others are doing and "shoulding" on ourselves, and simply focus on what He has called us to do and then GO for it!
Just imagine how different this world would look if we stopped listening to that Should Bully and started walking out our own journeys together and encouraging each other?
I can only think there would be more hope, more love, more faith, and more kindness because there would be no room for the Should Bully.
Don't should on yourself today friend. You are doing better than you think. Give yourself grace and be where your feet are at this moment.