You Create Your Own Obligations

You Create Your Own Obligations

Last update: 13 July, 2017

We’re constantly bombarded with all kinds of obligations, from the ones we have to face at work, to those at home, such as having food prepared every day. In the demanding society in which we live, we have to be attractive, hard-working, always on top of things,  good parents, etc.

Obligations are the expectations that we have to fulfill if we want to feel like better people. But think about it for a moment: who imposes your obligations on you? Who are those expectations really coming from?

You might say that the lifestyle we all live is responsible for all the daily obligations that we have to face, and that we should adapt to it. But if you stop to think a little more, you’ll realize that most of our obligations are really self-imposed, and that they’re meant to fulfill other people’s expectations instead of our own.

How many times have you been obligated to do something you didn’t like because it was something you “should” do? The word “should” is a part of many of our irrational beliefs, and it implies a hidden need that must be fulfilled if we want to be happy, or at least not sad.

Thoughts that point to obligations

Disturbing emotions usually arise because of an obligation. As cognitive psychology points out, what we think is the direct cause of how we feel, and in turn, how we feel influences how we think. Thus, if we feel anxious, depressed, or angry, we’re probably creating an endless amount of obligations in our mind.

man with eyes closed
These obligations can be about ourselves, others, or the world in general, and they speak to the false idea we have of how things should be. They close the door to unconditional acceptance, which is the key to emotional well-being.

Obligations directed towards others, and the world in general, result in anger. Wanting other people, or life, to fulfill our own personal criteria is as unrealistic as trying to make the sky turn magenta.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.