My mother and I are different in many surface ways, and if there were a Match.com for mother/daughter relationships, we might not even be paired. But of course the wisdom of the universe understands a much deeper level than we even know of ourselves, and thus we are paired for reasons beyond simplistic, exterior match ups - we are paired by our souls.
My mother is a deep, blue body of water.
I discovered this fact my freshman year in college when I was far away from home. I was a Theatre major, and in theatre one does all sorts of in-class assignments most other majors could never imagine. One stark and leafless Ohio day, I remember the feel of the cold wood floor under me as we were led through a long, guided mediation that had me fairly far outside my physical body into a realm I never imagined accessible before this day. We were asked to connect with someone we were closest to in this life.
At that suggestion, I found myself swimming in the deepest, most calming blue waters of my mother – and I knew then and now looking back that I had found her essence.
We may disagree about most things people believe in, join, wear as a labels or identities, etc, but we hardly ever tromp into those places when we talk.
I think it was about 20 years ago, after I was chastizing myself about something,, my mother said to me, ”There are no Shoulds!” She stopped me cold. Really? No Shoulds. What freedom in those words! What a gift she gave to me that day!
And since that time, we have said this phrase to each other as often as we needed to hear it. Sometimes she would forget herself, get lost in the role of MOTHER, and tell me something that she thought I SHOULD do; then, I would say to her, “There are no shoulds,” and she would immediately drop the should and say, “You are right.” The love and detachment in this instant transformation she can make after a daughter’s scolding are a beautiful gift and mirror to me.
From Neil Kramer’s The Unfoldment: The Organic Path to Clarity, Power, and Transformation: “The outcome of making a wrong decision is often portrayed in the mainstream media as a life-shattering failure. It is a very binary equation in the unreality of the distortion: win or lose; black or white. But reality is not like that. There is no failure on the spiritual path, other than the temporary postponement of not walking it.
A conscious decision to not do something is as valid as choosing to do something. One must consider the personal relevance of a thing from one’s own inner core before exercising will. Contemplate removing should from the process. There is doing, and there is not doing. Should doesn’t come into it. If I feel that it would be good to go and visit my elderly neighbor and help her chop firewood, then I do it. If I don’t feel that, then I won’t do it. No should is required.
Should compels people to act from imbalance – from outside their truth. It is closely allied with public expectation and social standing, which are habitually flawed, as they are mired in the distortion” (95).
The gift we can give to ourselves and to others is releasing the expectations – releasing the shoulds. That word should should just go away; shouldn’t it?