Shadows. Everyone has one. The funny thing about shadows is that they don’t lurk in the dark so much as painstakingly display themselves on the brightest of days. If you want to hide it, it stands dark, following you no matter where you go.

Although we are all accustomed to seeing our physical shadows, we all have the shadows of life that follow us around. We are living in the shadow of our parents, sometime negative, sometimes positive. There are our parent’s choices haunting us and following us when we try to get a job or make friends of our own. Or maybe we are living in the shadow of a sibling. A sister or brother who always did it better than us. Someone who did well in school, or made something of themselves. But, both, can be overcome.

Sometimes there are other shadows, there are the shadows of what we should have been and there are the shadows of what we could have been. Maybe it was a teen pregnancy that let ourselves down, or maybe not having the confidence to say ‘yes’ to that opportunity. Maybe it was a poor choice you made or a choice that was taken out of your hands. Some how, there is the shadow of the person you could have been, the person you should have been. Whether the should have and could have were yours or not, the shadow still lives there. Sometimes haunting, sometimes lurking, sometimes sleeping. Sometimes healing, too.


But there is one other shadow. This one goes deeper, most usually it’s a shadow that we don’t have control over allowing ourselves to feel. It’s probably the least acknowledged, the least recognized, but the most detrimental. It isn’t a person nor is it the should or could; it’s the should not. It’s the shadow of who you should not have become.

The should have’s and could have’s can be explained away by fate and destiny; determination and someone else’s fault. The should not… Not so easily. The should not’s are against all odds, against what the rest of the world and all circumstance dictated you should become. It’s the one time the shadow lurks when your happy. It’s the one time the shadow steals you and your deserved celebration. It’s the shadow that steals you.

Should not is the shadow that turns into the why? And, why’s don’t always have answers, now do they?

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