When you put your happiness into the hands of another, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
We have been conditioned in our society to believe the delusion that if a person truly loves another they will be able to provide that person with an endless supply of happiness. The truth is we are all responsible for our own happiness. Expectations are like little time bombs, booby-trapping our relationships, ticking away, waiting to detonate.
There are two very important lessons to remember when sharing your life with others, be they your spouse, your children, friends, siblings, parents, etc…
1. If you want someone to know how you feel about anything, or you want them to behave, respond, react a certain way, you have to tell them! We spend so much energy resenting our loved ones for not “knowing” what we need. We feel unloved, unrecognized, and underappreciated; frustrated that we have to ask. We stew in our own noxious bitterness and poison ourselves with negative thoughts and feelings. How simple it would be to say to someone, “I’d really like if you could do this for me.” Giving our loved ones the opportunity to help us, and please us, rather than setting them up for defeat by keeping our needs to ourselves and holding their lack of psychic abilities against them.
2. You can not change other people. You can ask. You can explain. You can talk until you are blue in the face, but you can not force change in another person. You can however change your reaction. This is where our true power lies. We have unlimited abilities to change how we deal with every situation we encounter. We can choose. We can become aware of ourselves, our triggers, desires, and underlying issues. We can stop reacting and start creating our lives circumstance by circumstance. We can move beyond blame and into healthy communicative avenues. We can accept responsibility for our own happiness, recognize how our reactions cause our emotional upheaval, and change what isn’t working for us.
These are simple truths. Easily recognizable tools to help us build our experiences into everything we hope they can be. They are hard learned lessons. And many of us may never be able to move out of our own way in order to embrace the idea of personal power through responsibility. Many will stagnate in the misery and disappointment of blame. Seeing themselves forever as victims, holding grudges against the world for their own dysfunction. We do well to remember that feeling unhappiness and disappointment are choices too. Life is a series of choices. Recognizing the power to choose/feel differently is the ultimate power we wield as human beings. Do not give your power away! This requires practice and diligence; awareness and commitment. It requires a heartfelt desire to truly heal your hurts and help yourself. Personal responsibility is not something to be taken lightly, it is serious business. If we are serious about our own happiness we can start now. Today. Be patient and persistent. Pay attention to our reactions and become aware of ourselves. Give ourselves (and others) the respect, kindness, and validation we wish to receive in life.