The Should Demons

Should demons…’s a phrase I heard the other day in class. I think it was used in the context of, “Get rid of your should demons.

The should demons. We all have them, and they operate on both a macro and micro level in our lives. Should demons are the voices you hear in your head (not literally – you know what I mean!) telling you what you should be doing or what a particular activity/event should be like.

shouldFor example, should demons are easy to find in our practice. Well, they can easily be found in mine. You go to class one day, and you do a particular posture in a particular way. You are very pleased with yourself and decide that, at a bare minimum, this is how you posture should always look.

But we know it doesn’t play out that way. And, when it doesn’t, we might find ourselves feeling frustrated with or experiencing an emotion that isn’t positive. And why? All because something didn’t play out in our heads the way we thought it should have.

Now, take that lesson off the mat. How many times during the day do you hit a wall because something didn’t go the way you thought it should have? How easily are you able to let go of what you thought should have happened when it didn’t?

And, what I think is interesting, how happy are you when something happens the way you think it should have?

Ultimately, what I’m asking you to consider is this: To what extent is your happiness, or lack thereof, based on what you thought should have happened in any given context?

What would happen if you let go of the shoulds?


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