So I’ve been thinking about duties. You know, as in musts, shoulds, have tos, should haves. Or any other phrasing used for those values and tasks that somehow just exist within us. The ones that we hardly notice ourselves and even if and when we do, they are so difficult to shake. The acts we perform and the thoughts we think that are all but part of our spinal fluid.
Did you ever stop to think where they came from? And why you continue nurturing them?
Why do you always ‘have to’ do certain things in a certain order? Was it a choice? Did you really have an initiated, analytical thought process on what age children should give up pacifiers? Or do you just have an opinion? And where did that opinion come from? And how one you sometimes have a feeling, just a tingling feeling, that you ‘really should be’ doing this or that instead of what you spontaneously feel like? Kind of a ‘but’…
I recognise my duties calling me when I experience an uncomfortable sensation about something that I am doing or thinking. Kind of like feeling uneasy in my own skin, a bit lost. And then when I try to find an answer as to why and try to rationalise what it really is that I’m thinking or doing I just can’t. I end up in a one way street that leads to a brick wall and that brick wall has a sign on it that says NO and DON’T GO THERE and IT’S OK and JUST BECAUSE and ALL THINGS DON’T NEED A REASON as in SOME THINGS JUST ARE THE WAY THEY ARE.
I’m sorry but I’ll be damned if that’s right.
All things have an answer and a reason. Whether it’s love or hatred, feeling at home or feeling alienated, feeling at ease or feeling afraid. Sure, you can sometimes question if the reasons your brain makes up are any good, but there are reasons.
And that’s the reason I cannot bear with duties. Because I can’t rationalise them. And because of that I can’t explain them. And because of that I can’t change them. Cause I wouldn’t know where to start. Which leaves me with a sensation of being powerless and really a slave under something I didn’t decide myself. A type of sensation I wouldn’t accept in any other circumstance.
So why do I? And why do we simply accept so many of the put upon us duties to act and react in certain ways? I guess from the beginning, as children, we want to belong and fit in so we agree, and I guess we think we can trust the grown ups around us to always have good reasons so we don’t question everything that is said. And then the thoughts and acts become more and more part of you until one day they just ‘are’.
But maybe it doesn’t matter why we accept this powerlessness. Maybe the only important thing is that we actually realise it and question it. That we start asking ourselves why am I doing and thinking this and how would I like it to be done and thought to my own standards? Can I rationalise my sense of duty to myself?
That’s at least the path I’m taking. I’ve learnt to recognise the signs within myself when I’m approaching my ‘duty stuff’, those are my personal alarm signals. Next step is to continue to empower myself to question and to rationalise my thoughts and behaviours, so that I feel that I can answer to myself. So that the things I do and think are not consequences of the duties that have been unconsciously put on me but are actually my own choices.
You wanna join in?