Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Shoulding on Ourselves


During a recent group a client kept using the term "should." As in people "should" do this. Or people "shouldn't" do that.

He had ideas about how others should behave. They shouldn't tell him what to do. They should be kinder. The list went on and on.

He didn’t understand that he was living in a fantasy world.  Should was powerful for him.

Reality is that people do what they do and should won’t change that. Those who view our world on the basis of how things should be live in a world of wishful thinking. And we're unable to deal to deal with reality because we have a warped vision, a skewed perception, when we deal with things the way we think they should be.

If people are being impolite, rude, nice, generous, or however – that's the way they should be because that's how they are.

Wishful thinking is the stuff of fantasy. And when we use terms like should, or ought to, were always going to be dissatisfied because things just are as they are.

Wishes won’t change them.