WOW! I cannot believe the attention and feedback that I’ve received from the last couple of posts about arguments. I cannot begin to thank you enough for taking time out of your busy lives and first, reading – then responding to my thoughts. Knowing that there is at least a few of you out there who took something away from my ideas, makes me happy.
And that is the topic of this week’s post – happiness. I remember having a discussion with a very dear friend several years ago on the subject of happiness. At the time, she wasn’t happy with her husband. She became unhappy with me when I told her that her happiness wasn’t his responsibility and that she had to own what was hers.
That DID NOT go over well. As I said, this conversation took place years ago and my ears are still ringing.
I am older and have considerably more life experience now. My views on that topic are not what they once were. What really prompted me to write about happiness this week is another post I read a few days ago by, what appeared to be, a teenager. To summarize, his thoughts were this:
-True happiness doesn’t exist because it can only be obtained by taking something away from someone else.
-Anyone who pursues happiness is a fool.
-There is limited happiness in the world and it gets passed around from person to person, based on one’s actions.
In my post about arguments, I explained why people really argue – because of the differences in core beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. In the following post, I explained that we only had 50% control in any situation that involved another human being.
Both of those theories work for happiness too. I have come to realize how much a person risks when they dedicate themselves to a committed relationship. We do allow another person’s actions and words to have power over us and affect our level of happiness.
Because we love ourselves. Own what is yours and let the rest go. Let me explain this a different way. When I plan an extravagant date for Tina, I’m doing it just as much for myself as I am for her. Yes, I want to make her happy. Making her happy makes me happy. So really, I’m making the effort to make myself happy.
What I failed to consider when I had that conversation years ago was that by trying to make myself happy, I am giving up some of my control and making that happiness dependent upon Tina’s reaction. So…to the friend with whom I had that discussion years ago – I’m sorry. I was wrong. I’ve realized that at least part of our happiness is dependent upon another person. We always have control over how we react to the control that we relinquish. We may not be able to control our emotions. We can control how we react to those emotions. If you love someone, tell them. Show them. Never stop doing whatever you can to show that you appreciate the vulnerability they display by trying to give themselves happiness through you.
In the spirit of the pursuit of happiness, I have to share some exciting news before I close. Always Opening Doors has teamed up with Designing Love, Inc for a new reality series about the struggles of relationships. We are shooting the first episode in Pittsburgh at the end of April. If you, or anyone you know is married and would be interested in being on the show, please contact me by clicking here.