I was one of those teenagers other kids loved to hate. I got good grades, did my homework without anyone reminding me, played sports, was involved in school and community organizations, stayed out of trouble, worked part time…
Ironically, doing all the things I thought I "should" do was mostly driven by a belief that I wasn't good enough.
This continued as an adult. I moved to the city to take a steady job with good benefits, got married, had a couple kids to go with my dog, bought a house…
Again, I stayed in the box of what I thought I should do.
Oh, there were some notable times I broke out of the box, but I quickly scurried back into its safety of shoulds and taped up the holes.
However, after several decades, the box of shoulds had become rather tattered. Then it collapsed altogether when everyone who should have had my best interests at heart betrayed me.
For a few years after that, I tried to pick up the shreds of the should box and tape them back together. But another life storm would crash through and scatter the pieces again.
I flailed without the security of shoulds, often hounding my spirit guides for an instruction manual for life. Sometimes angry; sometimes crying; sometimes ready to give up. In their patient way, they smiled or perhaps laughed out loud at my dramatics. When I was quiet and ready to listen, they shared their wisdom and answered my questions--not always what I wanted to hear, but I knew deep inside what they said was true.
Right now, I'm in a space of some sort of serenity. Still uneasy and perhaps a bit disbelieving when I look out at all the possibilities.
I realize this time of my life is truly a gift. I can choose. I can help the little girl who sometimes still hides inside me to climb out of her box and create a life the way we want it to be. I get to be both the parent and the child. Both the student and the teacher. We can color outside the lines or eat dessert first or splash in puddles and laugh.
And we can take some time each day to just sit and breathe deeply, watching the wonders of the Universe that weren't visible from inside the should box. I think I'm going to like being a good girl unboxed.