You have likely been disappointed at some point in life. You did not get what you wished for. People say they’ll be there but are not. They promised but fail to deliver. Those whom you trusted let you down. Sounds familiar?
When an outcome does not match up to expectations, you feel disappointed. It’s like battling through the longest night of your life. You want to be happier. You want to live life on purpose. But why aren’t you there yet?
Life demands a lot from us. Every day we are bombarded by the need to be valued by others, to feel that we’re good enough and appreciated. When we are disconnected from our expectations, our whole world crumbles. We close our hearts off because we can’t bear being hurt again.
The door to happiness comes from your willingness to dismantle the wall of resistance. It is a protective shell that cuts you off from the outside world and gives you a false sense of identity. You’re convinced that the world owes you; therefore you should be on the receiving end. You believe you deserve affection without limitation or love without condition.
Not too much to expect, right? Especially if you are taught to follow your path and that you deserve to be happy.
Part of being happy is the feeling of happiness moment by moment. Life becomes a struggle when your reason for being happy is tied to someone or something, apart from yourself. If the source of your happiness or the reason for your being is not you, then your happiness is short-lived. You open yourself up to disappointment because grief is lurking around the corner.
The source of your happiness would turn just as quick to become the source of your misery. No one else knows you better than yourself, because no one knows what’s important to you. By putting your happiness in the hands of another, you are giving your power away. To be fair, everyone is focused on themselves, therefore it is not realistic to expect them to lift you all the time.
Just as you can love others unconditionally, you can love yourself unconditionally. Your happiness is your responsibility.
We hear the common principle of give and take. You give a little and you take a little. However, most people likely expect to take more than they give. Reciprocal relationships can be powerful if done effectively. In some cases, the expectation to have a favor repay becomes burdensome. If you are expecting compensation of some kind, you need to spell it out so that it’s clear that your love or help is conditional. Then, it is no longer a favor. It becomes an exchange.
But let’s not go overboard or take this to the extreme. I am not promoting selfishness or victim mentality. I believe if one truly loves, it should be unconditional. Not an expectation but a giving without the need to be compensated. Your love did not make them indebted to you.
It means having the ability to freely say:
“l love you with no strings attached.”
“I’ll love you through hardship, mistakes, and frustrations.”
“I know you’re busy but know that I’ll be here if you need me.”
Unconditional love is healthy. Love without boundaries is not. Recognize that the world owes you nothing. But you owe yourself safety, respect, and kindness. Unconditional love is not an excuse to accept unacceptable behavior. You must be clear about how you treat others and how you expect to be treated. For example, if you are manipulating others in an attempt to get their attention and approval to feel worthy, you are offering co-dependent love. This can happen in any relationship with partners, children, co-workers, and friends.
Just as you can love others unconditionally, you can love yourself unconditionally. Your happiness is your responsibility. Start looking for it inside and not outside of you. Relief others of the task of making you happy because they are probably struggling too. And don’t be too harsh on yourself. You may have faults, and that’s ok. Let it go and move on.
Draw your attention to the good things in life. Being grateful not only improves your health, it simply makes you happier.
You are a powerful and capable human being, independent of making your own choices. When you choose to live by your values, you become valuable to the world. Your life becomes more meaningful and you are in a position to add value to others. Happiness is not a reward given to you by what others do. It is the right of every human being.
The secret to happiness is really in your hands. Decide today to be happy. And spread it far and wide because it is contagious.