“Take the words ‘ought,’ ‘should,’ ‘must’ and ‘have to’ and write them on a piece of paper. Look at them. Then light a match and light the corner of the paper, and let the paper burn and dissolve to dust. It is a symbol of allowing the energy you have given those words to become again as the dust or the ash of the ground. Clear from your consciousness all identification with such words, for all of them are denials of Reality.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 19 – 20)
We don’t “have to” anything that we haven’t chosen, on some level, for we are the creators and the molders of our experience. Even a child’s soul has chosen, for that child’s soul is not immature, like the child. While it may seem as if the soul makes choices apart from the personality, this is not always the case. We can influence our soul to make choice that are more in line with what the personality wants. The soul may or may not be swayed. But the truth remains that we are not victims in any sense at all; our “should’s” and “ought’s” are malleable. Even those that we adopted from parental control.
Jesus suggests a startling choice: to burn these words. If we feel that in this world we are compelled to do things that our inner essence doesn’t really want to do, then we need dramatization to show us the right interpretation.
Many of the “should’s” that we think we have to do are just in our minds, our false, egoic minds. We are, even without a metaphysical interpretation, much more open to choice than we want to think. We have free will, and we aren’t bound by anything external to ourselves.
We don’t have to please in order to get along with others. When we love, we automatically choose to do some things that help or “make happy” our brothers and sisters, but we do these things because we want to, we have chosen to. There was never any imperative that would encase our free will.
If we are dissatisfied with our choices, we have only ourselves to blame. We can be willing to “have it so.” And this flexibility will stand us in good stead in a sometimes hostile and difficult world.