chili peppers in the background with the writing "I Don't Have To"

I Don’t Have To

I’m tired. It’s been a long day. I’d rather curl up with a book than keep looking at the computer screen.

It would be easy to fall into a sense of obligation around “needing” to write this email.

But here’s an idea I’ve been playing with: I don’t actually HAVE to do anything.


There’s NOTHING I have to do.

Breathing? Nope. Billions of people have given it up. (They’re not alive any more, but still.)

Eating? Heck, I have friends who have fasted for 40+ days, not to mention the extraordinary feats of survivalists and yogis.

Paying taxes? Jail is an option. Not one I’m excited about, but it’s there.

And so on.

(Death might be the one exception here, but let’s hold that aside for a minute.)

NOTHING on our to-do list is something we truly HAVE to do.

You don’t have to kiss your kid goodnight.

I don’t have to turn in the assignment I when said I would.

I don’t have to pick up the dry cleaning, take out the trash, figure out my new website.

These are all things I can CHOOSE to do, if I want to, in alignment with things I care about and value.

And from that point of view, they become so much more exciting.

I’m CHOOSING to write this newsletter.

I’m choosing to keep my agreements.

I’m choosing to follow our society’s guidelines.

Let yourself off the hook a bit, and I think you’ll find you choose most of the things you were feeling obligated about.

But suddenly they’re a lot more fun.

And the other ones?

Good riddance.

Choicefully yours,

PS – Spicy hot tip: So much of our erotic life in this culture is tangled up in have-to and toxic obligation. Try reminding a lover that “You don’t have to be here” at some point in the middle of a yummy moment. In my experience, it all just gets even yummier…

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