The “I Am” vs. the “I Should” Life
As I was thinking about what my best self looks like I noticed it has a lot to do with the state I am in. Let me give you an example.
A friend of mine is in the hospital at the moment. I talked to her on the phone to see how she’s doing and what’s going on. I knew she would love to get visitors and told her I would come to see her next week since I am travelling for a few days this week, rationalizing to myself that it would be just too much right now. The next day, the very day before going on the trip, I just felt like paying her a visit. So I moved some appointments around. It just so happened that her husband and her two beautiful girls were there at the same time. We went out in the garden and talked while the children were enjoying the playground. To give my friend and her husband some private moments I later went to play with the kids and we had a lot of fun together. All in all, it was a pleasant time and I felt like I was able to help my friend and her family feel loved and supported simply by being there.
The same day I received a message asking whether I could watch someone’s kids or knew someone who could. Not being able to think about someone else I checked my own schedule. Not only did my schedule not allow for it to happen, but overall I had a heavy feeling concerning it.
That’s when it clicked in my mind: I was trying to “should” my best instead of being my best. This is the “state” I was referring to before. The question always should be: “Am I being or ‘shoulding’ my best?” I can see a huge difference in the quality of what I can give depending on which mindset I am in. I can give as much as I want when I feel I should, but it will always be trumped by what I can make happen when being my best.
So how can I tell the two apart? I think it comes back to the topic we discussed in the last few weeks. What we feel we should do comes from what society or our minds decide is appropriate or needed in a given moment. However when we are being our best, we come from what we are called or inspired to do (this often has to do with our strengths. In other words, “should” feels heavy to me just as I have mentioned before in contrast to the lightness and flow I felt while changing my schedule to make the visit to my friend happen before leaving town. Honestly, not only are the “results” better, but I feel better and happier myself, too, because I am aligned with my own inner guidance. Now that’s what I call being in flow!