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Soul Connections: Leaving the Prison of Shoulds - A Journey Into Authenticity

by Moriah Marston & The Tibetan

Lately I’ve noticed how often I use the word "should" in conversation and in thoughts. This barrage of shoulds orchestrates much of my existence. I know that I have the CHOICE to auth-entically respond to each moment — free to determine my destiny in collab-oration with the Divine Plan. Perhaps this liberty overwhelms my ego as it scurries back to the Land of Shoulds that define the parameters of the Safety Zone designed to keep me in check and on course.

I relinquish responsibility for choice when succumbing to shoulds. Each day’s potential is transferred into the hands of the "Should Gods" who claim the authority to inspect every action, reaction, decision to ensure it meets a deep-seated sense of requirement rooted in parental, societal, past life condition-ing. My fearful, unworthy, confused, blind, straightjacketed self distrusts the Divine Mandate that bids us to walk the revolutionary Path of Anarchy that over-throws all shoulds. A new Path is being revealed that ennobles the soul through authenticity, self-responsibility, creativ-ity.

How much of your life is run by shoulds? Are you aware of their engulf-ing pressure that monitors your every move? Do they mold and identify you? Does your life belong to others’ agenda for you? Are you living someone else’s life? Are you afraid of being rejected/unloved if you don’t comply? Do you measure your progress in life by how many shoulds you’ve fulfilled? Are you cloaked in shoulds because it’s too scary to expose your authentic self?

Can you refrain from thinking or saying "should" for an entire day? Would the bottom of your mind fall out? If you discarded society’s tools for navi-gation — left all the shoulds in the dust — maybe life would feel too wide open, unstructured, unsettled.

To discern the appropriateness of shoulds in today’s world, we need to track their roots — to a time when our consciousness was less evolved. It made sense to align ourselves with guidelines that demonstrated how to be proper and productive. Shoulds, passed on from generation to generation, carry the coll-ective agreement that our forerunners know what’s best for us because they surely received guidelines directly from God. Present for centuries, the shoulds of our world carry a tremendous mo-mentum in the collective unconscious — tenaciously insisting that we free our-selves from the demands of individuality and follow their version of the Way.

We must forestall transformation to avoid the inevitable irrelevancy between these long-standing injunctions and today’s wisdom.

Parents use shoulds to mold us into good girls and boys. Eager for love, we sacrifice whatever it takes to follow their prescription for how to spend our precious time on this planet. Secure in familiarity and a sense of OKness, we belong.

Shoulds propel us for years — as if we had all the time in the world to be Should Automatons. The "inner police" squelch all attempts to rebel against these requirements by flooding us with the deep uncertainty that if we step out of the box, we might be making a very big mistake. Sadly, unconsciously we give our lives away to the nameless ones who invented these constructs.

We hope, after fulfilling the long list of daily shoulds, to have some spare time left over — free time — improvis-ational moments of self-discovery. Then, satisfied with our obedience, we get to be anyway we want. However, the should list just gets longer over the years as accumulated rules bear down upon us to make sure that we’ve done it right before we die. Soon there’s no extra time for spontaneity because every open moment, pure in its gift of possi-bility and surprise, is instantly filled with deeper layers of shoulds. So we dutifully plow through our "musts," trying to clear the path to open ground. Exhausted and unfulfilled, we end up postponing our entire lives.

If we somehow manage to break attachment to this maelstrom of dictates, then we’re faced with the mightiest giant of shoulds —"God’s plan for us." Leveled, we cower in anticipation of an afterlife that punishes us for daring to ignore the spiritual shoulds foreordained to improve our souls. Our fundamental religious pathways often distort/narrow the great teachings of the Masters in an effort to control humankind’s "unmanageable" spirit with canons that carry great weight in the collective unconscious. They inject concentrated doses of guilt into the veins of the psyche to make sure we dare not trust ourselves to live a conscientious and noble life.

Ultimately all of our shoulds, with their reign of terror, forge a giant whip-ping post. Even if we cease self-flagel-lation, unconsciously we "hire" others to punish us with their expectations. Pro-crastination is often linked to the list of shoulds because we innately resist this aberration of the Divine Plan. The more procrastination, the more we roast ourselves with abusive statements about our inability to obey. How do we stop this Torture by Conscience?

There has to be a better way to reg-ulate impulses/urges, honor commit-ments, responsibilities, intention, disci-plines and focus. We need to check in with ourselves to discover wants vs. shoulds. If there are too few wants lying at the bottom of a pile of shoulds, then we’re living a lie. Let’s seize permission to challenge every last should! Each one can present its case to measure credibil-ity in the face of the emerging new con-sciousness. The suffocating nature of shoulds is then revealed in the new Light that’s expanding the collective framework.

We may be overwhelmed with the vast expanse of our liberated self and tempted to dash back into the Prison of Shoulds — free from taking responsi-bility for the authenticity of moment-to-moment responses. But this simply post-pones the Divine Mandate to be deeply in touch with the inner guidance that un-folds our unique course of Being. I re-lish the rich new road ahead of us, fill-ed with deep satisfaction, honesty and purity that leads to faithful, unadulterat-ed authenticity.

The Tibetan, rejoicing in this liberation, teaches:

"It’s time to explore the wilderness beyond the Cage of Shoulds that has corralled the human soul for eons. Intimidated by the sheer unformed vastness of possibility, students scurry to shrink from the Divine Imagination that provides such abundant creative oppor-tunity. Humankind imposes mandates on earthly life that reflect its attempt to stem the Mystery within their being. These rigidly structured requirements, designed to protect humanity from itself, delay the awesome unpredictable jour-ney into true mysticism that unfolds the soul’s unique exposure to earthly life.

"It’s impossible to truly know self until the shoulds are released. All stu-dents eventually arrive at the juncture where every should must be shed in order to develop the self-trust which accelerates the Path into full-blown awareness and accountability, total freedom and unlimited creative potent-ial. Then the student can consciously make choices based on a deep, loving, compassionate, accepting and nonjudg-mental connection to self. Humankind discovers it’s safe to trust itself. This sureness evokes a spontaneity that re-flects the Joy that unfolds the Path. The student discovers that he/she is not just the good person mandated by shoulds but rather the Great Being who exquis-itely embodies Source.

"The Divine Plan is determined to liberate self from the Prison of Shoulds that diminish initiative and curtail full expression of the soul’s magnificence, which lies far beyond the Should Box. So it creates ‘hitting bottom’ experi-ences where self simply can’t obey the Should Gods, regardless of harassing self-chastizement. Unable to be bullied into performing what’s expected, self starts ignoring the internal Should Com-mittee’s demands for reports, justifi-cation, control by taking breaks from these imposed statutes — stealing mo-ments of freedom just to see what’s beyond the Should Penitentiary’s walls. Soon, stretching out in new ways — intoxicated with possibility, self lets go and falls to the bottom where all the shoulds in the world can’t restrain the soul when it’s ready to expand.

"Shoulds are judgments wrapped in the pretense of appropriateness. When self doesn’t adhere to the shoulds, the psyche swarms with self-judgment. Alchemical tension erupts between the emerging authentic self and the fear-filled conditioned self. Threatened by the rising genuine self, the inner judge amps up its prosecution. Self is found guilty of the crime of independence and personal-authority.

"This tension evokes past life pat-terns of buckling under society’s press-ure (and threat of exile) to retreat into shoulds as a safeguard from delusion, doing harm, arrogance, grandiosity, blindness. After all, without shoulds, who or what will ground and keep self on track? The prevalent formula for OK-ness is based on humankind’s projection of a god who micromanages its off-spring because it deems them untrust-worthy — innately flawed through orig-inal sin.

"Please don’t dread the departure from shoulds. It offers an opportunity to experience Divine Acceptance for one’s truth — the choice to explore faithful self-initiative rather than be martyred by should’s illusions. This reflects Source’s gift of Free Will which propels the student into Mastery. Freedom of choice brings refinement/evolution through a trial and error that ultimately dovetails beautifully with Divine Destiny. Humankind’s Should Map, a futile attempt to control the Mystery, declares that its dictates are Fated. Shoulds foster victimhood with no Divine Choice.

"Unparalleled fulfillment ensues when the heart and intuition structure responsibility to the Divine Plan. The soul’s magnitude shines forth as shoulds fall away, like obsolete scaffolding. The individual discards any construct that presses the soul into self-betrayal and steps on the purest Pathway. It’s a glorious day indeed when humankind casts off the yoke of shoulds and claims the wisdom that unfolds its ultimate potential."

Moriah Marston, soul mentor in private psychotherapy practice since 1983, combines tools of depth astrology and dream analysis with her intuitive blend with Ascended Master Djwhal Khul’s soul perspective. Moriah has a penetrating multidimensional approach to healing and transformation. She specializes in phone sessions for individuals and couples. Moriah also offers group seminar intensives through her educational center, The School of the Golden Discs, in Colrain, MA. She is author of Earth School (a compilation of 68 articles from her Wisdom column) and Soul Searching with Djwhal Khul, the Tibetan. 413-624-9606, moriah@transformationaltimes.com. Visit her web site: www.transformationaltimes.com.   

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