"There will be many messengers, but the message is one: be who you are." Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Hello wonderful readers. During the next paragraph I am going to play the role of someone else. So please don't loudly berate me in your heads. Normal service will be resumed after the next paragraph.
Listen up, you. You are not good enough, OK? You should be better than you are. What sort of effort is this you have made? At your age? Look at you. What a state! What the hell have you been doing, you pathetic slacker? You should be more beautiful. You should be a different weight. You should have a better job. You should have more money. You should have better relationships. You should have an incredibly positive attitude. You should be able to instantly dismiss anger and fear and jealousy and other nasty horrible wrong bad negative emotions. You should be smiley happy at all times. You should be in total CONTROL of your thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Why are you not in CONTROL? Everyone else is in CONTROL. What is wrong with you? So out of CONTROL? You should be manifesting the life of your dreams like those shiny gurus. You should be achieving monumental things. You should be changing the world because you are special and gifted. You frankly should be ashamed of where you have reached in life. It is pathetic to have wasted your potential in this manner. By the way, I am your friend. I am just telling you this for your own good. I can tell you exactly how to to become a better person. I can teach you how to stop being so utterly useless - for a small fee of course, just to cover my expenses really. I am not bothered about the money. I am your friend. I am going to help you get better.
"If for just a few moments you can stop thinking about getting better, you will begin to realise that you have never been unwell." Swifty Flame-Anderson
Hello again wonderful readers! I'm back! My my. It wasn't much fun being that guy! I hazard a guess that it was not much fun reading his thoughts either. The trouble is, that guy is everywhere. Priests, politicians, parents, advertisers, self-help authors, TV and magazine pundits, school teachers ...... it is relentless. Even if you are on your own, even if you are sitting in silence, that guy is there. He lives inside your head as memories of all the people I have just mentioned, and probably many more that I have left out.
It is relatively easy to stop listening to gurus and preachers. It is relatively easy to stop watching TV and reading magazines that tell you how to live. But what are we to do about the incessant badgering of our own minds? It won't go away. It will not stop. What can we do?
If you want to be free from those voices, it is first of all necessary to realise that it is not 'your mind'. Thoughts happen on their own, independent of you. They are not initiated by you. If you do not believe me, try the experiment in the article What Do You Think? Once you realise that thought is not 'your thought' then you have a certain freedom. You can then choose to listen or not listen just as you can with another person or with the TV or radio. Even if you do listen, you can still question and challenge what is heard.
Look at the paragraph written by the 'helpful friend' and count how many times the word 'should' is written. This word is a great indicator. Watch out for it! Whenever you hear the word 'should' in the middle of a sentence that passes through your head, you can be sure, absolutely certain that 'should' is coming from someone else. Your true Being does not have any 'shoulds' at all. None. All is free choice in the present moment.
"Just for a few days, try wanting to be who you already are and see how that feels." Swifty Flame-Anderson
Whenever the word 'should' comes up, either in the mind or from another source such as TV, advertising, religion or a conversation, examine it, question it, challenge it. Where is this should coming from? Who decides what 'should' or 'should not' be? What gives them the right to decide? What gives them authority over your unique Being? What gives them the right to interfere with your free choices? Even if their 'should' is right for them, does that mean it is right for you? Even if their 'should' was right when it was thought up, does that mean it is necessarily right in this unique moment?
Or if you want to forget about all that analysis and take a short-cut to freedom, just dismiss the word 'should' at all times. Chuck it out completely. Refuse to ever entertain it, together with similar words like 'must', 'have to', 'ought', 'right', 'wrong'.
"There is no need to sift through all the rubbish before throwing it out." Sri Ramana Maharshi
You are who you are and the way you live your life is entirely your free choice. You are absolutely wonderful and unique just as you are right now. You will still be absolutely wonderful and unique whatever choices you choose, whatever paths you take.
There are no 'shoulds'. There are no 'musts'. There is no 'right'. There is no 'wrong'. Just free choice - your free choice. No need to look for guidance anywhere. Nobody else can tell you what is right for you. You get to decide that for yourself. That is your wonderful freedom and at the same time your responsibility. Nobody else has the answers any more than you do, even though many, many voices would like to persuade you that they do. You do not have to listen. You can choose to listen to and follow any voice if you so wish. That too is your free choice. Just remember, you make the choices and can change them at any time, and remember also that it is entirely up to you to decide what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' in your life.
"The original source of all tension is 'becoming'. One is always trying to be something; no one is at ease with himself as he is. The being is not accepted, the being is denied, and something else is taken as an ideal to become. So the basic tension is always between that which you are, and that which you long to become." Osho
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