Monday, October 27, 2014

The Key to Happiness (Part 2)

Have you taken the time to jot down your ideas on what we talked about in the last article? If not (and if you didn't read the last article) go back and spend a little time answering those questions. Doing so will help make this series personal and it will also allow you to apply these things to your own situation a lot more specifically.


Again, if you've not done so, go back and read the last article for the introductory thoughts to what we will be talking about in this article.


This is the main point for this article - PEOPLE can not make you happy. Let that soak in!

You may have found yourself saying (and you will hear others say it as well), "You make me so happy!" or "(Name of person) makes me SO happy!" And, on the other side, you may also say or hear, "You make me so mad!" or "(Name of person) makes me SO mad!"

I remember seeing a young man comment on a social media page, "I wish I could find the right girl to make me happy." I replied to this young man, "If that is what you are waiting for, you will be waiting a LONG time."

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Let me clarify a little. I know that many of you don't quite understand what I'm saying here because you may be thinking, "But my spouse/kids/grandchildren/friends DO make me happy!"
People can bring "feelings" of happiness to your life and people can add to the component of your life that brings about happiness but NO ONE PERSON can "make" you happy or unhappy.
Read that again - maybe slowly and maybe more than once - and let it sink in.
Let's notice a few things about this idea:
     1. If a person can "make" you happy, if they leave your life either by death or by choice, are you doomed to a life of unhappiness?
     2. Is it not unfair to put this much "responsibility" for OUR happiness on others?
     3. Your happiness - created by YOU - might very well bring joy into the lives of those around you which, in turn, may create even more feelings of joy and happiness into your OWN life!
Now for a quick "break down" of those three points, o.k.?
1. Yes, I do understand that others can bring about feelings of joy and even peace into your life. Yes, this DOES add to the overall component in your life that can add to your joy, pleasure and contentment (see definition for happiness in the last article). But you can NOT rely on those people to be responsible for your own happiness.
Have you ever been disappointed by any of these people? Have they ever frustrated you? Discouraged you? Brought about feelings of anger in you? The answer to all of those questions is very likely to be "YES!".  So, yes, they can have an impact upon our "feelings", but they cannot - and we should not expect them to - "make us" happy or unhappy.
And, yes, I DO understand that the loss (either by death or other means) of having someone in your life can be heart-breaking. I understand that this kind of loss can bring about much pain and despair. Again, they made up part of the overall component of your life that brought about joy, pleasure and contentment in your life. They were a PART of your happiness.
But also understand that you are NOT now confined to a life of misery and unhappiness. It may be difficult, but you can and will find other areas of your life that can help fill that void in your life that will bring joy, pleasure and contentment into your life.
2. It IS unfair to put the responsibility of your happiness on others. Many couples fight over this and even divorce over this very thing. "But you're supposed to make me happy!" whines one to the other.  Perhaps this disillusionment came from one promising the other, "I will ALWAYS make you happy!".
That's a nice thought but it's an impossible promise to keep. Easy to make, impossible to keep.
So, on either side, it is unfair to expect someone else to be responsible for your happiness and, friend, it is unfair and unrealistic for you to think that you are responsible for the happiness of another.
3. WE are responsible for our own happiness. Those that have joy, pleasure and contentment as a part of their life very likely will draw others to them. Yes, others can "feed off" of that contentment and joy and, in turn, increase their own levels of those feelings and emotions.
Happiness must come from within. True contentment can only come from YOU and what YOU hold in your heart. Make sense? True contentment understands that others WILL disappoint us and, yes, even frustrate us but that contentment will never allow that to DESTROY us.
Now, don't take this the wrong way, especially if you have lost a loved one in death. I'm not trying to be "cold-hearted" about this but, it still applies, even in that situation. Here it is: True contentment and happiness comes with the understanding that your worth and value is not dependent upon another person.
YOU are special and YOU hold the key to understanding your true value.
I know that it is painful at times but, friend, it is still true.
So, as you go about writing down your answers to the question, "What makes me happy?", don't write down the names of others. Maybe there are things ABOUT those people that bring about the feeling of joy and happiness but that person, alone, is not responsible for your happiness.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and, as always, I also want to encourage you to listen to the podcast (see the links below) and to also share both with as many people as possible. You just never know when what is read or said is exactly what someone needs on a particular day.
Until next time, be sure to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"


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