Why Do We Need "Should"?

Why does everyone take this word so seriously? Why is there such power given to a word pointing to experiences that do not exist? Whenever you use that word, you are immediately creating and image that pulls you away from reality.

My boyfriend should spend more time with me.



Why should he?

Because it would make me happier.

So, is your pain coming from the reality of him not spending time with you? Or, is your pain coming from the image you are projecting of how things should be?

It's because he isn't there.



Well tell me, how would you feel if you didn't have the idea that he should spend more time with you? How would you feel if you didn't have that should in your life? Not that you ignore it. I am asking how would you live your life if you were not even capable of thinking he should spend more time with you? 

If I weren't capable, then I don't think it would bother me.

OK. So is your pain coming from the should, or from what is real?

Well, if he was here, I wouldn't have to think this way.

No. If he is here, your idea of what should be isn't challenged. That is all. So you feel safe. But for how long? When you live your life outside of reality, you are like a time-bomb; if your image of what should be is hurt, then you explode. It will always be this way. If he is there, you are fine; if he goes, you explode. If you only live in shoulds, it is just a matter of time before your suffering begins. Once reality doesn't match the image you have built of yourself, the pain begins.

Well, shouldn't I just live life in a way that doesn't put me in that conflict?

And what way would that be? If your life is based on shoulds, on images, on thought, you are already in conflict. Living a life through imagery is living a life of violence. Can you see that? Not because you agree or because that is what I am saying; can you really understand that living outside of reality is living inside of violence?

But what I think of reality IS reality.

No way. What you think is in no way real at all. All of our thoughts are creations of the past. There is nothing there but memory. how can memory, something from the past, something that is essentially dead, how can that stuff bring us into the moment? The moment is perceived when the past is not there; when memory is not interfering. What you call reality is merely your projected thought of what it should be. Nothing else.

You are making me angry.

Really? How is that at all possible? In what way do I have the power to make you angry? I am just sitting here and sounds are coming out of me. In what way does that threaten you? Am I doing anything at all, or are you reacting to me based on what you think is true? Please check it out. This is very important, and you are angry. Go into it NOW. Don't theorize about it later when you feel fine. Stay with it.

You are saying things that I cannot believe, so i am angry.

So, are you angry because of what is said, or are you angry because of what you believe? Tell me now, what is happening inside of you.

I am mad because I believe he should spend more time with me and that is real.

Are you mad because he is not there?


Is that the truth? He isn't there, so I am mad, you say. Is it true?


Your mom isn't here, are you mad at her?


Well why not? If you are mad at him for not being here, wouldn't it stand to reason that you should be mad at her, too?


Why not?

Because I don't believe she should be here.

EXACTLY! You don't believe she should be here and you are not mad. You believe he should be here and you are mad. So what is causing you pain?

The idea that he should be here.

YES! Now don't let it go. Stay with it. See that is it your belief that causes the pain, not the fact. The fact has no meaning other than what you place on top of it. Now tell us, if you are not capable of thinking he should be here, how do you feel?

I feel fine. There's nothing pulling in any direction.

So why do we think in shoulds? What possible benefit could there be? Any should takes us far away from what is real; what is now. Anytime you think in shoulds, ask yourself what is real? How does this should take me away from the moment?

Can there ever be a proper action to take if you live in shoulds? How can any action be right if all that you see is false (the should)? If you are clear of whatever is false, from that space, all action becomes right or proper or whatever you want to call it.

If you act in the now, without mental interference, that action is perfection.