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Quieting the voices telling you how you should be living your life

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

“You should be happy that your child’s father pays child support”; even though he never actually sees his kids. “You should be happy that you have a job”; even though the stress is killing you. “You should be happy that your friends show up to support you”; even though they only do it to ridicule and judge you. “You should be happy that you have a good man”; even though he is cheating on you and just gave you an STD. The world is constantly telling you how you should feel and yet not allowing you to feel how you feel. The question is…why are we should-ing all over the place?

Recently there was a quote from a young lady on the popular Facebook page Humans of New York, the young lady was asked "What do you feel most guilty about?" her response was, "Not being as happy as I should be." In a world where so much happens on a daily basis this women feels guilty about not being as happy as people think she should be. Are other people’s expectations clouding individual’s judgment about their lives?

Why do people think they have the right to tell someone else how to feel? Why can’t people comfortably feel the way they feel? Why can’t people live the life they want to live, even if it is different from what popular society deems acceptable? The reason people are so consumed with other people’s lives is because it’s easier to judge others than it is to look inwardly and deal with their own issues.

Psychoanalyst call this phenomenon, transference; the redirection of feeling: the process in which somebody unconsciously redirects feelings about something onto a new object or person. When someone is all consumed with your life, nine times out of ten it is because they are having the same issue as you are and instead of dealing with the problem they take their aggression out on you and tell you how you should live. This relationship illusion can go unnoticed for a while because not only are you not aware that they are doing it, most of the time they aren’t either.

The easiest way to deal with these types of relationships is to figure out who you are and to discover what your purpose is because we are all born with a purpose most of us just never tap into it. Once you realize your purpose you will recognize when someone is puling you away from it. Knowing who you are releases you from the “shoulds” and helps you see that life is what you make it. There will be days when you are happy, sad, and mad, in love, flustered and every other emotion we feel as humans. You will feel these emotions and not dwell on them. You will not feel guilty about not being as happy as you should be because you will be as happy as you want to be.

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