Thoughts about how things should/shouldn’t be…

I’m starting to notice just how many of my thoughts are about how things should or shouldn’t be. eg I fell out with my sons because they refused to do some household chores (that they ‘should’ do). I told them that I wasn’t obliged to share my space with people who didn’t contribute and locked them out of the house (something a good mother shouldn’t do)

Sometimes these thoughts are about things that don’t even affect me. I was out with friends and a friend ordered a medium glass of wine and the waiter brought a large one which he ‘shouldn’t’ have. Because then my friend was charged more and that ‘shouldn’t’ have happened.

It’s kinda fascinating to discover how many of my thoughts are based on an underlying assumption about how things ‘should be’. It’s like I’m moving through the world with a large red pen mentally correcting all of the things that ‘should’ be different. I’m realising how much of my energy and attention this consumes and I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t think like this.

Every day I mentally review my day, and I have so many thoughts about what I ‘should’ have done differently. I used to think that these thoughts were helpful, pointing out opportunities for improvement but now I see that they are a symptom of an overarching thought that things are not how they should be.

I’d like to free myself from these thoughts, but even that desire is driven in part by the thought ‘I shouldn’t be thinking like this’ phew! how do I start to unravel all of this?