In my experience, when I have let go of should, when I can stop worrying about measuring my progress in unmeasurable things like fulfillment and pleasure, growth/change/life becomes pleasantly nonlinear. Sometimes my path becomes nothing at all like a straight line—it’s more like a series of dots, or a fingerpainted smear, or a sculpture. Sometimes I take two steps forward and one step back.

It was as though he had been staring at the door when a key fell through the window, and of course he himself was the prison, the door, the window, and the key.
— Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

Many of us think of freedom as something each of us has, inherently, within ourselves. That it takes an external force to trap us, to prevent us from being free. But the thing is: we trap ourselves, all the time, just by thinking of ourselves in ways that hold us back.