Is Someone Shoulding on you? Are You Shoulding on Yourself?

One of the words Patricia Evans talks about in her book “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” is the word “should”.  To tell someone they “should” do this, or “should” do that, is a controlling way of communicating.  Shoulding is of the ways we abuse ourselves and others.  Shoulding suggests shame if you don’t do what you “should” do.  A less abusive way of communicating with others, or with yourself, is to say, “You might like to do this,” or “Have you considered doing that.”

This approach may sound mambsy pambsy, but in reality it is simply more respectful.  To tell someone they “should” do something is implying you know better than they do and have the authority to tell them what to do.

Changing the way we communicate can be challenging.  I should on myself all the time, and on other people too, and don’t realize it.  My daughter Melissa, the amateur psychologist in the family, catches me doing this and calls me on it.  She was visiting the other day and pointed out that not only was I shoulding on myself, I was shoulding on everyone else as well.  When Melissa pointed this out, repeatedly, I began to catch myself and correct myself before she could chime in with, “You’re shoulding on yourself again.”

Shoulding is a way of putting pressure, or putting power over on someone else, or on yourself.  Shoulding can kill happiness, making life a chore instead of a joy.  This nerve condition I have (see My Very Spoiled Nervous System) is teaching me the evils of shoulding.  I had a conversation with my husband last night and he was directing me by using sentences beginning with, “You need to . . . ” and, “You should . . . ” etc.  All the things he said were valid things I “should do”, but because he was shoulding on me, I began shoulding on myself and woke up with burning skin and scrambled brain.  I overloaded myself with shoulds.

Honestly, a person could think of so many things they “should” do, it would take them many lifetimes to do them.

The only cure for my burning skin and scrambled brain, aside from increasing my medication again, is to relax, stop shoulding myself, and ask myself, “What is most important to me today?  What would bring me joy?  What does my heart long for?”

This sounds idealistic, I know.  I have a difficult time letting myself do what I want to do and not what I think I should do.  It’s working for me though.  Even though there is a very angry dragon inside me (see The Dragon and Guardian of Memyselfandi), I am happier than I have ever been in my life because I am learning to follow my heart.


The Medical Medium Diet : Day 3

I weighed 171 today, a loss of 4 pounds in two days!  That is encouraging, to say the least.

Sticking to the recommended food is getting easier because I don’t crave the really bad stuff any more, like donuts, chocolate, or ice cream.  I did learn yesterday, though, that I was craving something but didn’t know what, so I tried a fourth teaspoon of salt mixed with water.  That was just what I needed.  The mixture reminded me of broth and really helped relieve my craving.

I began today with the usual celery juice and continued with the same smoothie as yesterday ( I had two 16 oz glasses leftover in the fridge).  When I felt like eating something else, I had bananas, an apple, and some almonds.  We went to a special dinner for our homeschool group and I ate two plates of fresh salad.  I cheated a little by having a little dressing on it.

Yesterday, at about 3 pm I remembered to take my Sertraline, and I felt a little dull headed after taking it, so today I didn’t take it and I do not feel the usual tingling and nerve pain I used to feel, nor do I feel as dull headed.  My daughter Melissa says to see how it goes, if I am experiencing a placebo effect, it will not continue to work, but if the changes I am making are legitimately helping, then the diet is not just a placebo and the positive effects will continue.

I am also doing my best to let go of negative and stressful thoughts, and relax.  Stress really exacerbates this nerve problem.  This is difficult to do when my life has been so full of stress and anxiety for so long.  Being in Oregon, and having family around, is a big part of my self prescribed medicine, and it is good medicine!  Mostly, I am learning to recognize the negative thoughts when they creep in.  The negative thoughts target me when I am either really tired, or feeling really good.  It is almost comical now that I recognize the pattern.  When I am feeling tired I think, “How are you going to do anything, you’re so tired!  You are not capable of anything significant.  You might as well stop trying and just do little tiny things,” and when I don’t recognize that those are just negative thoughts trying to mess me up, I feel hopeless and helpless.  Then when I feel really good, with a burst of energy, I think, “Look at you, you are just fine!  Why do you think anything is wrong with you?  You are just fine now.  You don’t need a doctor!” and I feel all excited and happy until I hit the wall again and have to rest in a dark room because my head hurts, which is usually only ten minutes, up to a couple hours, into my burst of energy.

I read more from “Medical Medium” this evening, and the chapter on the Epstein Barr virus is very interesting.  Anthony William says the Epstein Barr virus is behind many of the illnesses that doctors cannot explain, like Hashimoto’s, Lyme’s, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Tinnitus, and Vertigo, among others.  I have symptoms, or have had symptoms, for all of these.  I read the list of recommended foods and herbs, specifically to get rid of the Epstein Barr virus, and looked through my shelves.  I found Silver Hydrosol and L-lysene, both of which are recommended in this treatment, so I took them tonight.  Tomorrow I will gather more of these recommended foods and herbs so I can proceed with more of the recommended foods.

What is that saying . . . “Make food your medicine, and your medicine your food” . . . something like that.  I always liked that saying.

Tracking Your Emotions.

Tracking intense emotions . . . . . ..   . … .  .. . .   . ..   . ..   . ..  . … .

In my last post I made this brash statement:
Understanding how shame is affecting me, and understanding how shame began when I was young and how I continue to pass it forward to everything I do, allows me to discontinue that shaming voice within me.”

Well, that sounds nice, but HOW does one understand shame and how it began.

I would not have thought to track my emotions to their origin if it had not been suggested to me by a friend in my Healing Class at Wilderness Fusion, so since I brought it up, I am going to share the process with you.




The next time you find yourself triggered by an event into an intense emotion, especially the negative emotions, instead of reacting, take some time, get some space away from others if you can, and allow yourself to go deep within yourself and say, “Show me when I first felt this emotion.”  Surrender all thoughts and allow something to come forward.  You may find yourself streaking back through time and experience.  You may notice experiences flying by as you go back in time, experiences that triggered that particular emotion in you.  You may come to the beginning and everything will slow down and you will be at the origin of that emotion, at the event that first created it in you.  When you get to that event, examine it, feel it, relive it!
I have used this tool many times now.  As I re-live the original event that created a particular emotion in me, I understand that I felt overwhelmed by the emotion, to the point of feeling out of control and afraid, along with anger, or sadness or whatever.  I saw how that original feeling of helplessness and “out of control” was being brought forward instantly, along with similar emotional baggage from other events, and all in a bundle being dumped on me as I experienced a present event triggering that same emotion.  The fact that I am no longer a child, and supposedly an adult who can handle things better (ha ha), didn’t stop the flood of emotion which could throw me into a depression, or feeling frustrated and helpless, or at least throwing me into a bit of a funk.
These events have been described by one of my teachers as a string of pearls.  Each pearl being an event along a timeline.  As I fly by these pearls on my way to the original event, I find that in the awareness of each event the baggage is staying with the event and being dispersed along the time line.  When I am done with this exercise, the current event, the one that triggered the emotion in the NOW, is left with only the appropriate amount of emotion due it; not the whole bundle, gathered from the timeline.
If you want, you could slow down the movement of the tool by asking a different question: “When was the last time I felt this emotion?”  Surrender all thought.  An event will emerge.  Notice it with gratitude, then ask, “When else did I feel it?”  Notice it, and ask, “When else?”  Continue doing this and eventually you will get the origin of that emotion.  At any time, during this slower process, you could pick up the speed and ask, “When was the first time I felt it?” and fly through time to the origin.
This is one of those tools that, when first given to me, I couldn’t see how well it would work, or that it would work at all.  I’ve learned to trust my teachers and my classmates though, and I experiment with the tools I am given.  I am always amazed at what happens.

So Where Does Shame Fit In?

What I realized, as I relived those first experiences that brought on my extreme emotions, was that those feelings of being out of control I had as a child made me feel helpless, small, confused, afraid, and even outraged.  Those feelings created a feeling of being less than capable of handling what was going on.  I was a small child, and sometimes even an infant, and of course I was not in a position to handle or even understand my world yet.   As I looked for how these early experiences contributed to shame, and disconnection, I found that I did feel shame because I didn’t understand.  The shame was deeply buried, and intellectually it may not make sense, but the shame was there, and it may be the first time I ever felt it.  What is interesting, too, is that in my earliest experience with shame, no one told me I was less than, no one shamed me, but I felt, in my helplessness, like I was not enough.  That feeling of “not enough” is a basis for shame.
I do not know how well this tool will work for you, whether you will have a similar experience or not, but perhaps you, like me, at least have a new tool to play with and learn from.
Dare Greatly everyone!
Karl Direske’s Wilderness Fusion healing classes


Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”