Recognizing that we are responsible for our own happiness is a really big leap for many of us. Totally is for me. While it is an eye-opening realization it isn’t easy for many of us.
Bear with me while I struggle through this.
For many of us when we were growing up we were taught our happiness depended on others. That lesson is a very hard one to shake. We were taught that we were controlled by others and that our actions controlled others. For me that translated to “my mood and behavior were a catalyst for my mothers moods and behavior”. If I was very very good my mother would not drink, my parents wouldn’t fight, there would be no money trouble and we would be like the Brady Bunch without all the kids, house keeper and dog. The problem is that didn’t happen then and it doesn’t happen now. The lesson is that I can only control me and sometimes not even that.
When I say that I can only control me what do I mean? I can control my response to others or different catalysts. I can control what I do. I can choose healthy or unhealthy. I can choose to accept with peace or resentment. I can’t control anything else. None of us can, but oh how we try. Every success or disappointment is our choice. Every moment is a choice. Even not choosing is a choice. We can’t get away from it. What we can do is learn to make healthy choices.
Healthy choices come in all shapes and sizes. There is no set determination for what is healthy. It is different for all of us and different depending on the moment that we are in. We are always doing the best that we can in each moment. What we have to remember is what we can control, that we always have a choice and we are always doing the best that we can. So stop trying to control what you can’t. Save yourself that little bit of misery.