Realigning Your Happiness Equation
Someone recently said something to me that I know they meant to be supportive, but instead I went reaching for my soap box and well…here I am.
I have a hunch that to the people that are not the intended audience of this blog I am a big ol’ Eeyore walking around with a dark cloud in my head. But what I’m trying to do, and what I think most of you understand, is to share what’s truly and honestly going on with me so that neither of us feels alone. Because no one’s life is perfect and everyone has dark days and everyone has blah days and everyone has awesome days. But we all know when we’re not having one of those awesome days we tend to feel like something is wrong with us. And I want to help you get to that awesome day faster than before and to have MORE of those awesome days by sharing what’s worked for me.
And EXHALE! Anyway...this person told me that there were so many people that loved me therefore I should be happy.
Now, what’s wrong with that statement? Of course if feels good to be loved and to be surrounded by loved ones. Of course the person that said it to me said it in with the best of intentions.
But, this statement is oh so very wrong and leads to a very slippery slope that can actually do the very opposite and derail the very happiness you're already supposed to have. Let me tell you why.
The language of “so many people love me therefore I should be happy” puts the ownership of my happiness in the hands of other people. When in reality, happiness needs to come from within. Because what happens when your happiness relies on other people is that you start living your life in a way you think you need to live your life in order to earn their love. Pretty soon you end up completely out of alignment with your true self.
Don't believe me? I see it all the time in all these spiritual retreats and webinars I attend. Simple example. Grown adults like you and I are realize they are so disconnected with themselves because their parents raised them with the “kids are meant to be seen and not heard” mentality and oh did they have so much to say as children. But they quieted themselves to earn mom and dad’s love and now they don’t know how to speak up for what they want and in fact they lost touch with what they did want in the first place because there is no outlet to share.
This is the same reasoning why people say that dreadful word “should”. My life is great, I SHOULD be happy. I have a great job and I great relationship, I SHOULD be happy. A thousand girls would kill for this job, I SHOULD be happy. The reason these people are not happy is because they are chasing after the love and approval of things outside of themselves. So no, they shouldn’t be happy at all.
This concept was really hard for me to understand at first and then I started seeing it everywhere. My happiness has been tied to so many things outside myself but none of those things can be controlled or guaranteed so my emotions were swinging and bouncing all over the place. Can you relate?
So let’s correct that original statement with some alternatives:
There can be many people that love me therefore I have so much GRATITUDE for them.
There can be many people that love me AND I love them in return.
There can be many people that love me BECAUSE I am happy.
There can be many people that love me and I am happy.
There can be many people that love me and I am unhappy.
There can be many people that love me.
What about you? If you can identify with this and find yourself chasing happiness outside of yourself (past or present), I would LOVE for you to share more in the comments.
Note: cover photo from PicJumbo