‘Should’ is a Danger Word


Wily, this word that rolls —


Dangles and stretches, the
purple wisteria of words,
an alluring, empty promise,
a choking vine.


Winds its’ way through
daily bread,
around your core,
into consciousness.


Spoken from within,
a haunted internal arising —
( I should) do better, be stronger,
go farther, move faster.


Spoken from others,
a shot toward your heart
your lack becomes their headline,
the ways you fall short their top story.


Tossed from your throat,
a cheap shot toward someone else —
about their one wild and precious life*,
their spunk and soul decisions.

Today —
You and I awaken to this crafty wolf in sheep’s clothing.
We gain perspective of how ‘should’ holds us (and others) down.

Today —
We reach our hands up to release ‘should’ to our Creator who transforms.
We push our feet into the ground and stand firm in who we are.

Today —
You be you. Let the inner voice of love reign.
Feel the energy of love surround.

“One wild and precious life” refers to a line in Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day

This poem was inspired by a personal reflection paper I wrote several years ago. In response to a brief statement about an inner belief I carried (at the time), “I should be doing XYZ”,  the instructor, Jane Vennard, commented on my paper, “should” indicates danger. I loved this concise comment. It’s stayed with me and simmered over the last few years. When I catch myself saying it to myself, someone else or hear it from another, I practice “pause and release”. May this be a blessing to your practice of love.



    Should is certainly a powerful word. We need to not feel compelled to do things. A little free spirit would be good for us all.

    1. Yes!! I agree!!

  2. Lifting my hands up and releasing! 🙌🏼💕

  3. […] in the face and with gentle love, and tell them, “No”. We may need to quiet the voice of “should” by serving her a cup of tea and telling her to take a nap. When our hearts our aflame for the […]

  4. […] thing. I know you. You want to start checking boxes from the list of “what I should be doing”. Trust me, you’ll go to sleep and burn out. Best to keep with organic […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.