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Are You Supposed to Read This?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by slayadragon, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

    Here is an essay by CFS patient, toxic mold avoider and life coach Maggie Laura McReynolds.


    Are You Supposed to Read This?

    By Maggie Laura McReynolds

    What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it's supposed to be.~ Anonymous

    I was supposed to be 5'8" (oops, the pediatrician was looking at the boys' growth chart).

    I was supposed to have two or three children (infertility = just one son).

    I was supposed to be healthy (chronic illness and disability since age 29).

    I was supposed to be married forever (separated after 25 years).

    High school is supposed to comprise the best years of your life. Everybody is supposed to like pizza. Friends are supposed to support you, no matter what. Your birthday is supposed to be special. Christmases are supposed to be white.

    So how are all those pictures in your head matching up with reality? And what are you making the inevitable clash mean?

    Here's an invitation: suppose you made no suppositions for 2012?

    Wow. That would be, like, wrong, wouldn't it? I mean, it might turn out that having goals and dreams while letting go of attachment to specific outcomes might bring you something even bigger than you could have imagined. It might mean that holding the intention of living a life of meaning and joy without getting hooked by a specific way that's "supposed" to look would bring you peace and an openness to finding gifts in whatever the moment brings your way.

    It might mean changing the way you look at and live life forever. Whoa, huh?

    I'm perfect at 5'5". My son is the best thing that ever happened to me. My health challenges have shaped me into exactly who I am. My marriage was a strong, beautiful, decades-long gift, and the fact that it ended doesn't change what came before.

    Here's the deal: none of it--and none of us--are "supposed" to be anything. We are who we are, it is what it is. The rest of it? The supposed-tos, the should, the have-tos, the ought-tos, all those bossy imperatives? Guilt, anxiety, and let-down. Ick, ick, and ick.

    As this year draws to a close and I turn my gaze towards the next, I have been actively booting "supposed to" pictures out of my head and out of my life. It's amazing how much room they took up! Without them, I have the space for surprise, for wonder, for seeing the beauty not in what I thought things would be like, but in how they actually are.
    lemonworld and ahimsa like this.
  2. Nielk


    It's thoughtful and brings awareness.
    it's a great reminder of not relying on expectations.
    It's easier to live life that way.

    I still think though that setting goals for ourselves gives us direction.
  3. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

    Thanks Slaya, just what i needed to read.
  4. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    This thread made me think of what my Yoga intsructor says:

    "Hire the witness and fire the judge!"

    Simple, but contemplative.

    ahimsa and Nielk like this.
  5. u&iraok

    u&iraok Senior Member

    I knew I was getting it when I accepted my curly hair. I always hated it and wished for straight hair and spent too much time trying to straighten it. Then, after years of hate, I began to see the good things about curly hair and I now like my hair (love would be going too far, we still have to be real, now, come on). Of course, a good hairdresser doesn't hurt.
    slayadragon and ahimsa like this.
  6. Gavman

    Gavman Senior Member

    Makes sense. Changing the face of the judger to something healthy is very important.

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