This got me delving into my grammar books again. Bear with me.
"Should" is the past tense of "shall."
"Should" is one of the modal verbs in the English language. Along with "must," "ought," "might," "could," "would" and others. Modal verbs indicate a modality, a specific mode: giving permission, having the ability to, suggesting an obligation.
"Should" and "ought" hint at a moral obligation, thereby expressing a right or a wrong to your choice/decision.
When I examined my use of "should" more closely, I could see how the latter was so:
I should do this. But what if I really don't want to?
I should do that. Will this be the correct choice?
I shouldn't do this or that. Because Gee! I might be punished.
For me, clearly, "should" implies guilt. ASIDE: Growing up a Catholic, "Guilt" became my middle name.
It is a word that keeps me in limbo -- you know, that in-between space betwixt heaven and hell. Neither here nor there in a matter of choice, in a decision.
One simple statement along my healing journey, put the onus on my already fragile mind of making a commitment. For example: "I should change my thought patterns." This could imply that if I do change them, then I am doing something right. But, if I don't change them -- I am doing something wrong. It is a statement that teeters. Not one that is built on a solid foundation. I see that now.
In therapy, likewise in positive affirmations, using the present tense is more effective as is a strong, positive and affirming declaration. So, according to my psychologist, instead of saying "I should..." declare "I choose to..." Instead of "I shouldn't...." rather "I choose not to...." This way, I could see that I am not only in control, but I would avoid moralizing providing the subconscious mind with a more empowering and decisive statement.
Now I catch myself and pause when the word "should" escapes from my unthinking mind and I quickly replace it with this more guilt-free option. An option that gives me the power of being, doing and acting.
Published By: Valdone's Leaf