Over the weekend I attended an acupressure course. The weekend was healing on many levels, but it left me with a lingering thought about “should.”
The particular type of acupressure covered in class is governed in part by Taoist philosophy. The concept of “The Way” is particularly important. There is no one way, no right way, no wrong way. There is just each individual’s way.
My mind really started rockin’ and rollin’ about this “should” thing. Of late I have been thinking about why Down syndrome is difficult for me other than the obvious physical challenges Rowenna has already faced. I think my difficulties have everything to do with “should.”
Let’s face it – we live in a society entirely run by “should.” We should walk and talk by a certain age, we should do well academically, we should go to college, we should leave the house, we should get married, we should have kids, we should have a career both fulfilling and well paid…we should, we should, we should. Never mind that millions upon millions of people do not fall into these categories. It’s deeply ingrained in our psyche that certain things should happen and something is wrong if it doesn’t.
This system sets us up for constant judgement. Judgement of our skills, our appearance, even who we are. We are judged by what we should be doing and how well we measure up to these standards.
Well then of course I’m going to struggle with Down syndrome. Rowenna will meet many of these standards, but certainly not within the prescribed time frame. And she’ll miss some “shoulds” altogether. Yes, I struggle with that as a momma and I struggle with the idea that people think less of her because she does not fit into these standards.
Then I got to thinking about this quote from the Baha’i faith (and yes I know it does include the word “should” but when it’s God’s word, well, I guess I can cut some slack for word choice):
Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other.
When my mind starts groovin’ and I start worrying, I really ought to pray more because there is my answer.
We are all made of the same dust, and not just because that’s all God had available at the time. It is by divine design that we are made of the same fiber but with different outcomes. “Should” need not apply – there is no should. Only the unique abilities and contributions of each person.
So then this way of being, this way of sizing everyone up based on how things should be is truly unproductive. At our very core, we are not designed to be compared one to another. In our very essence, we are not to judge the accomplishments of others. There is no comparison because we are one and the same.
I’ll part with this thought: that my daughter is made from the same dust as you. You might do things she’ll never do, but then again, she might do something you’d never dream of.
And since I have yet to post a picture of my beautiful girl on this blog, here she is. Miss Rowenna, made by God, made of the same dust.