As I uncover the layers of my neuroses, the anxious scripts that have made me jump and overcompensate for decades, I’ve noticed that there’s always an understood truth at the bottom. An absolute that I am working from that the thought of not attaining makes my anxieties skyrocket. These are my Have to do’s. I’ve been a hostage to these Have to do’s as long as I saw them as absolute truths.

Somehow, I’ve gotten myself programmed to think a myriad of ridiculous thoughts that if I don’t attain or accomplish certain things, it’ll be the death of me (Hello Cognitive Distortions). Except, nothing will necessarily kill me save overworking myself. After much mindfulness, I now recognize my ridiculous thoughts about how I must have my clean house or else…

I have to make them like me or else…

Have to dos or else on

I have to do all the right things by my children or else…

When you are so busy making sure that Or Else doesn’t happen, you never get to do anything that you wanna have happen. Because it’s within those Wanna Do’s that you really are who you are. In my wanna do’s are the things that shine my joy and light back onto me. So I’m paying particular attention to the dissonance when I’m telling myself I have to do anything. And then listening harder for what I want to do. Because it’s in those clues that the truth of being happy lies.

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  1. I am up early grading… it’s one of my have-to’s, but I’ll try to see it as a want-to. :>) Something in this post actually made me want to cry. Anyway, the want-tos are with me, too. I have a little puppy sitting as close as he can get to me, and I am propped up in the bed with pillows, sipping coffee while the soft lamplight glows. I see the richness in this moment, this want-to. Thank you.

    1. The image of the child as the brave soldier when she’d rather stay on the playgroup and swing. Being made to grow up too quickly and fight iminent death daily is a grusome image of our childhoods Tammy. And while we can not change our history, we can certainly edit our futures to feel less desperate. Thank you for your eyes and thoughts as it always inspires me too.

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