As I have grown, I realize more and more that happiness comes from within. Internal happiness cannot be given to a person by another human being no matter how hard one tries. My mistake has been trying to fill a void that was beyond my human capabilities. If a person is not happy within, trying to be happy with them (in a relationship or friendship) is almost pointless. Their views will be distorted, they may never see the positive in anything, everything around them is a threat, they are unable to handle any opinion against their own, making them defensive about everything.
When one is unhappy, it is very easy to point fingers and blame someone else. However, we have to remember that no one can do anything to us without our permission. Permission is not always verbal. Permission can be passiveness, playing ostrich, acceptance of bad behaviors because one feels nothing will ever change, or a decreased self value that doesn’t allow one to speak up for self. My permission has been acceptance of bad behaviors because I felt the individual would never change. Accepting people for who they are is fine but oftentimes when it (directly) negatively affected me I let it “roll off” not realizing that it was building resentment, which of course made me unhappy (pissing me off even more).
So here’s what I’ve learned:
Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is be honest with self. So many people spend time looking and judging those around them that they never evaluate their inner being. I began a practice several years ago that has helped maintain my happiness and sanity; soul-searching on a quarterly (sometimes more) basis. I started this practice because life can become so overwhelming (especially as a parent) that it is easy to get caught up and forget about what makes me happy. I take this time to trim the fat out of my life (i.e. meaningless relationships, negative people, useless activities, and unhealthy habits, behaviors, and practices). I also evaluate anything I want or need to change about me. I have found this practice helpful in maintaining my “cheerful disposition” ;). It also keeps me grounded by remembering that no one is responsible for me, but me. It sounds simple but it’s not. I am human, and some things or people I just don’t want to let go even if they irk me. Also, sometimes I just want to blame somebody else because after all it must be them, not me right? I couldn’t possibly have all of these flaws right? Ha!
Point being, when we are willing to be 100% honest with ourselves, it is much easier to pin point the source of unhappiness. I encourage everyone to be brave enough to search your inner self. It can get tough at times because some faults are hard to acknowledge; however, to get to a point of inner peace it is necessary. I promise you it is well worth it in the end.