I should workout more. I should pray more. I should say yes to that volunteer opportunity. Good things? Yes, but should too easily becomes shame. I didn’t workout, so I’m (insert self-insult here). I didn’t pray as much as she did, so God must think (insert bad theology here). My calendar is busy, but if I don’t agree to help I’m not as good as (insert unhelpful, inaccurate comparison here).
We should ourselves into an exhausted, poor-self-talking version of ourselves.
We know the shame we feel after should isn’t painting an accurate picture of who we are, but the disconnect between what our head knows and what our heart feels is often enough to guilt us into a cycle of endless attempts to hold more than we were ever intended to carry on our own.
What if should vanished from your vocabulary? What if every time you felt the over-reaching, exhausting tug of should, you felt confident enough in who you are because of the love and grace of Jesus to simply say not this time?
It’s time to let go of the word should and pick up the word sane. You don’t have to live in an insane schedule of unsustainable expectations. You don’t have to have the insane expectation of 60 minute workouts 6 days a week. You don’t have to insanely watch the clock when you pray and bow your head after 2 minutes because it wasn’t 5.
God loves you. The real you. The you who doesn’t have it all together, who knows there’s room for improvement, but has given yourself the grace to be saturated and satisfied in God’s love in this moment. There’s nothing to prove. There is nothing you can do to increase God’s love for you, and nothing you can do to diminish God’s love for you. It’s complete and whole. No shoulds or strings attached.