Ego has it’s own particular devices for stealing us away from the present moment and carrying us off into places that don’t actually exist. One such place is the imaginary land of “Shouldville”.
Shouldville is the resistant state of consciousness we find ourselves in when we find ourselves thinking in terms of “should” or “shouldn’t”. Whenever we’re thinking life shouldn’t be the way it is, we’re in conflict with reality. When we say things like, “He shouldn’t do that …” or She shouldn’t have said that” or “I should be some other way”, we're struggling against the way life is. It’s like shaking a fist at God, with, “This is NOT the way it should be …” as if we know exactly how it should be. In other words, we’re arguing with Reality – and there’s no winning such an argument!
Life is the way it is and no amount of resistance to it will change that! (Have you noticed?:)) It doesn’t matter whether we like it or agree with it or not – it just IS!
Resisting reality only creates unhappiness. It doesn’t matter how right we may think we are … or how many people may agree with us that it should be different, it will go right on being the way it is. The only thing that this approach to life brings is misery. We cannot find peace as long as we are living in Shouldville.
Acceptance of life on life’s terms is what does work. Aligning with reality brings peace. This doesn’t mean we “give up” or “settle for” something uncomfortable in our lives. We can certainly decide we want to do it differently next time … but it does mean that we can surrender to what is now and come to terms with the way things are RIGHT NOW.
This attitude not only brings us back into the present moment where we can respond better … it also supports an important question … “since it is the way it is … and since life is happening FOR us … then how is it that this is the way it’s supposed to be?” This question helps us to focus on the gifts in any given situation rather than go on bellyaching about how unfair life is.
As Byron Katie says, “How do we know it should be the way it is? Because it is.”