Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Don't Should on Me!

Don't Should on Me

There is a tremendous value to talking to someone... talking with someone... someone who has been in your shoes, walked your walk.

I remember in early months looking to those women who had been attending group meetings for months, even years... watching them. They may have given me the same words as someone who had never walked my path, but their words I heard... Why? Because they knew. They understood what simply isn't understandable... unless you've walked that walk.

I could write pages on what not to say to someone who has lost a child. In short, my best advice would be "be slow to speak and quick to listen". We live in the days of Dr. Phil and reality television where problems seem to be wrapped up in 30 minutes. Solved. Better.

People want that for you. They want you to be better and when their calendar thinks you 'should' be better, they will start handing out their advice to you. Giving you their 'shoulds'.

You should be over this by now.
You should be able to go to that baby shower.
You should be thankful you can get pregnant.
You should...

Those shoulds may or may not be great advice but unless you have worn those shoes, your 'shoulds' may fall on deaf ears, on angry ears, on defensive ears. Ears that will take your shoulds, file them away and bring them out in a blog, meeting or coffee with those of this 'secret society'.

I heard some wonderful words from a friend at one of those recent meetings and she was sharing the words of another. Words that were great advice whether the speaker had walked our shoes or not...
DON'T SHOULD ON ME!

The thing is the people that you think 'should' be feeling better want to feel better, but they are not ready or they just can't and your shoulds will just push them further from discovering their own truth and finding their own peace.

Don't should on me!
Great advice! For everyone everywhere but particularly for those who don't need to hear your "should" anymore. So be a friend, be an ear, be a shoulder. But don't be a should-er.

19 comments:

  1. It's like your in my head typing exaclty what I think about. I hope some should-ers read this!

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    1. Thanks Heather! I hope they do too. Sometimes I wish we could tell them. So sad that losing a baby is something that no one really talks about...

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  2. You rock...I love this post.... and speaking of 'rocking' I immediately thought of my old Metallica days the song 'Dont tread on me' humming along to it replacing tread with should :) love, nan xxx

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    1. HA HA! Thanks Nan! Now I have that song in my head too! Maybe I should tell my husband he needs to record it with new Lyrics! <3

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  3. I Love this post! It couldn't have been said better. I never thought of it that way but what you're saying speaks volumes.

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    1. I can't take full credit! A friend mentioned it at a meeting after hearing it and it was such an "a ha" moment for me that I had to share it with you! Thanks for the comment! (((hugs)))

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  4. i def agree w/ the slow to speak and quick to listen!

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    1. One of my favorite quotes from the bible! I used to have it hanging in my public school classroom. I was shocked when a student recognized where the quote was from one day (happily shocked).

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  5. Thank you so much for this post, for those of us who haven't walked your path for an insight as to what we shouldn't do or say x

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    1. And thank you for reading it! There is no doubt in my mind that the words of others are always well meaning! When someone is in those early days/weeks/months/sometimes years it can be hard to see the intention behind the words though. Thanks for leaving your thoughts! <3

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  6. Such wonderful words of wisdom! It is amazing how different the same words can sound from a person that has walked the path, from someone that has not.

    Nancy

    http://thecookiegal.wordpress.com/

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    1. Couldn't agree more! It's strange but so true! I remember going to meetings and just wanting to listen to everything those 'older' moms had to share because I knew they understood where I was and I wanted to know how to get where they were! <3

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  8. Definitely true!!! Love that you once again put into words how so many of us feel! Love love love your writing always!

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    1. Thank you Deni! For the comment and for always being so very, very sweet! (((hugs)))

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  9. Amen sister. I know that when I am "should'd" by a family member, it makes me feel much more alone and frustrated. You make a great point in those of us who "should" feel better, want to feel better. Although for a while, I wanted to stay stuck in my anger because I felt if I were to express happiness, I thought it would feel like I was letting go of my son. But in the end, we all want to feel better. Telling us we "should be doing better by now" is one of the most unehelpful pieces of advice I've ever had to listen to. Thanks Laura!
    Amy

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    1. Amy! I totally understand what you are saying. I think you need to stay stuck sometimes. There is an odd comfort in it. You'll know when YOU'RE ready to loosen the grip on those feelings. Unfortunately there is no time when we "SHOULD" be better and I think that is what can drive others so crazy. Thanks for the comment! <3

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  10. I can only imagine those should questions. I can feel my heart pounding faster just thinking about how horrible it must be to hear these things after a tragic loss of a child. ((Hugs to all who have to hear the uncaring should haves))

    My aunt, eating my meatloaf, said you should have made it this way....blah,blah,blah and I wanted to punch her lights out!!!

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