The opposite of should.

The word “should” is designed to make people feel they need fixing before they even realise they are broken. In fact, an awful lot of people are doing an awful lot of what they think they “should”, when in fact, what they were doing in the first place was fine.

Loving people where – and for whom – they are right now is the key to helping them. Really helping them.

We are all on a healing journey. But I find so many people are ignoring the true source of their pain and have taken up practices and habits which do nothing to help that pain, but which are simply a distraction and a kind of occupational therapy. Because someone those things or that thing was something they *should* do.

Go to church. Read the bible every day. Get up and pray at 5am. Walk 5kms. Eat macro, bio, organic, paleo. Activate your almonds. Elevate your heart rate. Eliminate toxic thoughts. Read this book. Volunteer at that shelter. Take a class. Give all your money away. Save all your money. Live simply. Get rich. Get out more. Keep yourself unstained by the world. Blah, blah, blah. Should, should should.

Being mindful of who and where you truly are right now in this time and place will do more to show you what you need, where you’re wounded and how you’re broken than any sermon, self-help book or entrepreneur with a gadget or gimmick.

“You are here.”

This is what God says. His love shines on us and shows us everything we need to know. It illuminates the dark places. Bathed in His love, all our beautiful selves with all the wounds and cracks and failures and sorrows can be clearly seen. This is where you are. This is who you are. This is what is. And I love you. These are His words to us.

God never says you “should” do something. He says, “This is what is. This is who I am. This is who you are.” The rest is up to He and we.

If we never changed, He’d not love us less. If we choose to change, He is there to help us do it.

To use the word “should” is to assume you, fellow human being, have the whole, entire and intimate measure of another person. It’s to assume you know exactly why someone does what they do, and doesn’t do what they don’t do. It’s basically to presume everyone is exactly like you.

In fact, everyone is exactly like themselves. And the way you are now is just, well, the way you are now.

Not better than, not worse than, just… the way you are now.

You’re on a journey, on a trajectory. Of healing, knowledge, intimacy, knowledge, all that. No one has arrived, and we all help each other along, as brothers and sisters under His love.

To say to someone “you should” is to say “I have arrived.” No, you haven’t. You’re not there. And our job isn’t to try pull people up to our highest level.

It’s to help lift them up to theirs.

In love, Jo xxx

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3 Replies

  • Wow, I love this one Jo! Exactly right- we are what we are, God loves us right where we are. It’s that simple.
    Thanks for the reminder

  • Thanks for sharing these helpful insights, Jo. It reminds me of how limiting our thinking, language and life experience can become when we rely too much on being told what to do. When we believe in ‘should’ or ‘musts’, we often lose belief in ourselves and the power of love to heal, to help and to create hope. We can also become highly reactive rather than responsive in our relationships – again limiting how much we can learn, share and grow together.

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