I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Thinking about happiness. Partially because of this book. But honestly I think I picked up the book because happiness was already on my mind. In the wake that followed reading that book I’ve found myself gobbling up other self-reflective books and blogs and making plans for more self-reflective reading and exercises. I even have a happiness-project of sorts in the works for myself. After all it is Fall the season for me to think deeply.
Slowly, as we all do as we grow older, I’m learning a lot about life, myself and others. One thing that has become glaringly obvious over time is the truth that no one is responsible for my happiness but me. As I shared previously I’ve learned that somethings need to be said instead of carried around weighing down my chest and outlook. I cannot expect others to know and care how their behavior, requests or words will effect me. All I can do is choose discomfort over resentment and know that my happiness rests in my hands.
Due to recent events, lots of inward reflection and awkward conversation I’ve also realized that I’m not responsible for anyone else’s happiness. Just because someone has set expectations for me in their mind doesn’t mean that I can or will meet those expectations. My family and I have to do what is best for us. I’m not saying that I don’t care about the happiness of others. I really do. I want the people around me to be happy. I just know that their happiness cannot rest on my actions, reactions and beliefs.
The thing about these realizations is when I remember only I am responsible for my happiness and I am not responsible for the happiness of those round me all that pressure I feel every day to make everything perfect for everyone around me lifts. I feel lighter. I feel happier myself. Life is good when you know that your own actions are what brings about your happiness. I am in no way saying that encouraging someone else’s happiness through sharing love or good deeds is not a priority for me and I am most certainly not planing on making choices with total disregard for the happiness and feelings of the people the decisions affect. I just know it’s neither my responsibility to carry the weight of their desires and ignore how those desires affect me. It simple is not fair for me to make sure that the happiness of the people around me matters more than my feelings. It simply isn’t fair for the others to expect that their feelings carry more importance.
Hopefully I can lead by example. Hopefully the small changes I am making in my life to be happier will be a inspiration to others. Hopefully I can stay focused in my day to day life and remember that happiness comes from within and hopefully by focusing on that simple truth others will also see that truth too.