“If you cannot find peace within yourself then you’ll never find it anywhere else.”- Marvin Gaye
I love the idea of making people happy, but it is not my responsibility to do so. It isn’t yours either. Because sometimes, no matter what you do, where your intentions lie or how much you’ve really tried, some people will be forever miserable. Why? Because it is up to them to seek their own joy.
It may seem selfish, you know this whole idea of absolving yourself of responsibility for making someone else happy. But it isn’t. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. See, when you realize that you’re not responsible for the joy of others, and that the only person that you need to make sure is happy as much as possible is yourself, you force people to really sit down and evaluate what makes them happy with life. You’re not there as an emotional crutch to save the day, and it forces people to seek something deeper than what anything outside of them can provide. It forces YOU to evaluate what exactly it is that brings joy to your heart.
Now I’m not saying that you should go around screaming at the top of your lungs, “It isn’t my job to make you happy!” when a friend comes to you in need. It would just make you come off as an egotistical asshole. Instead, what I am suggesting is that you empower yourself and those around you by not becoming an emotional dumpster.
There are some people out there who do not have the desire to be happy. Their sole purpose is to vent, with little to no interruption, about all of the messed things happening in their life. We all vent, but usually the type of individuals I’m referring to vent without purpose. And if you’re nice enough, you listen to them. But they continue to call and express frustration about the same thing, with very little improvement or solution behind it. These people have become emotionally dependent on you, and are subconsciously robbing you of your own joy each and every time you speak to them.
Empowering people to be responsible for their own joy can be quite tricky, but it first starts with dedicating your entire life to being happy. In order not to be an emotional dumpster, you have to rid yourself of all of the trash in your mind, and that comes out of your mouth. Moods are infectious, and it’s only a matter of time before you catch the mood of whoever you’re most around.
First, realize that you can greatly contribute to a person’s joy, but it is up to them to embrace a positive mood and state of mind. Second, just say no! If something does not please you, and it is very unreasonable, then do not subject yourself to it. Titles, whether it be friend, lover, mom, sister, brother, employee, often come with a level of expectation. But it is up to you to draw the line.
Make happiness a daily habit, not just a practice that you feel every one in a while and you’ll find yourself smiling a lot more and those around you too!
Excellent! What you wrote is exactly why counseling is frustrating at times. As much as I want my patients to be healthy, I cannot make them so, anymore than a pastor as much as he prays for one’s salvation can save someone. No it all begins from within. James 2:19. Blessings,
Very true. Thanks for reading Ellie!
The raw truth! It wasn’t until after I divorced my ex-husband that I realized that the only person that can make me happy is myself. Depending on someone else to provide it is guaranteed to leave you disappointed. It definitely wasn’t easy, during and after my divorce. But with a few counseling sessions along with a few close friends and a family member or two who were there for me during my time of trouble but became tired of coming to the pity parties I was throwing, it became easier with time to seek and finally enjoy MY OWN happiness.
Unresolved issues from the past, the strained relationships that I had with my mother and grandmother were the root of my dependence on others men especially to bring happiness and closeness to my life that I lacked from the ones that birthed me to this world. But fully understanding this now, I no longer have that feeling of emptiness.
Everett I’m so glad that you’re doing better now. No one will be able to execute a loving, fulfilling relationship without nurturing love of self first. Thanks for reading!