There’s been so much I’ve told myself that I should know.
To wit: how to manage my finances, the right thing to say, what “bespoke” means, or just I should know better.
And since I’ve gotten it into my head that everyone else knows these things, I tell myself I’m this straggler who just can’t get it together.
Which, of course, feels about as good as a root canal.
So, here’s what I’ve learned: the fact is that I don’t know something. The judgment is that I should know it. If I can take action from the fact, not the judgment, the whole equation changes.
I don’t know how to make good roasted vegetables. I can tell myself that Every Other Adult knows how to do this (which isn’t true) and feel shame that I don’t. Or I can acknowledge, Yup, I don’t know how to do this (which is true). Then look up how or call a friend who does it beautifully.
If there’s something we don’t know how to do, there are surely plenty of other people who don’t know, too. So we’re not alone. But there are also plenty of people who do know how. So we have resources.
Rather than be loyal to shoulds and judgments, I’m trying to be loyal to facts. Then acting on those. Which tends to feel way better than a root canal.