Why Should You Care?
Do You Know Your Calling?
Earlier this week I was thinking about how I get tangled in my thoughts of must-haves and should-haves. My old professional career and my new identity do not get along when they meet face to face.
During my last yoga practice, my teacher mentioned a book that talks about “Should” and “Must” in our lives during the meditation practice. The need to look for our true selves.
Both came together like a snap.
We all bring large baggage of information since we were born. Values, beliefs, and information we received as children and continue to carry as ours during adulthood, without validating if that is still accurate.
As I start thinking about my dreams, desires, should and musts, I wonder which one of them is meant for who I am now.
Days are filled with so many tasks, responsibilities and appointments to fulfill needs and beliefs that may not pertain to us anymore.
I build my identity and life based on what I heard was right and good for me, what it was praised by society and valued by my family. What I learned was to build a solid professional career, be financially independent, get married only if I wanted to and raise good kids. Career success was a very important end goal that I targeted since early in school, and it became a critical piece of my identity.
With lupus, that didn’t end up well. Too much work translated into too much stress, which made me ill.
A ‘calling’ is what we enjoy. It is something we do without noticing the clock ticking. It’s an effort that makes us feel good about it, we do smiling, and it is not a burden. Time goes fast, and we can’t wait to do to again. It is our truth, who we are deep inside.
As adults, we may not listen to our callings anymore. We have a 9-5 pm job to pay our expenses, maybe a successful career that was built with a lot of effort and eats our days and nights, or a relationship that is not healthy. So, maybe neither of them brings us happiness.
Monthly bills, doctor appointments, meetings, school, children. These are some examples of obligations we may not be able to run from, and our days get crowded in a blink of an eye.
While many of our shoulds are real and necessary, some may not be needed anymore. They might have been important when you were younger, living in a different place, with other people.
Have you ever thought about your shoulds and how they fill up your day? What about making a list? Hint – it might be greater than you think.
The list may be extensive. It may take you a few days to feel comfortable with it. Many of the items may be hidden behind your fears, vulnerability or ego. Go back to all the stories you heard as a kid, and see how they are part of your life today.
Our musts are our calling, our truth. Things we used to like to do as kids; what we gave us pleasure.
With stressful lives and too much on our plates, we may have forgotten what we really love doing, learning or playing. We may be living today based on facts, beliefs, and stories from our past, things that other people told us, their truth.
Maybe you enjoyed cooking, or singing in the shower, or dreamed of having our school band going pro someday. You forgot about your paintbrushes because someone said you didn’t have a talent or stopped writing because you don’t have enough hours in your day.
Think about things that fill your heart with joy, and start making a list. For example:
- Having a knitting group or a book club with friends.
- Practicing yoga and meditation, expanding your spiritual life.
- Playing your favorite instrument, alone or with friends.
- Learning a new language, or topic.
Now, if you could make your “shoulds” talk to your “musts” face to face, what would they tell each other? What type of conversation would they carry?
We can only live this life once, so we need to do our best to live happily as much as possible. Look for ways to smile more and complain less, by filling your day with things that make you happy.
Pack your days with more musts and lesser shoulds. So, what is your calling?
“Living doesn’t cost much, but showing off does.” – Jeffrey D. Sachs, economist, and author