Many years ago, I read a parable. In fact that parable, or metaphor, became the focus of my life. I'd heard it before. Perhaps, I wasn't ready when I first read or heard it. Perhaps I believed in that artificial and superficial definition of wanting- that some of us think is happiness. Maybe I just didn't realize the context or the circumstances with which you judge happiness. Maybe I thought happiness wasn't even a priority. It is simple. You must do what makes you happy.
Perhaps at 24 or 34, I didn't realize that. Maybe I was too busy, or too insane. Perhaps I bought into some belief system that we must endure a certain amount of emotional pain in the workplace or in relationships. Somewhere, around 44, I read something that put it all into context.
That each of us is our own Messiah. That we are free to live our lives doing that which makes us happy. That at any time, if we ask ourselves that intuitive question "am I happy?", then we will know the answer. And if you hesitate or balk at that question, you already have your answer.
To become happy again, often means conquering fear. You can't wait for a Messiah to rescue you. And you can't let fear imprison you. And you can't let the fear of failure, or the responsibility you may leave behind, stop you. So it was- that my Messiah, who had healed thousands and grew weary of the throngs of sick and scared people that followed him, found his God and asked him. God told the Messiah, "do what makes you happy." "Even if that means never helping another sick person, that people will perish?", asked the Messiah. God replied, "Do what makes you happy."
I practice very hard at doing the right thing. Trying to act ethically, morally, and spiritually correct. To behave responsibly in those situations that I am a part of. If I have satisfied those things without hurting others, then I am able to ask the question. "Am I happy?"
That was the context I sought. I found that context to be quite empowering. That no level of responsibility made it necessary to be miserable. That the people we touch are all potentially Messiahs. Perhaps you enter their lives, or they enter ours to teach us that. That people are free to find their own happiness. That reliance on others, or their reliance on you for happiness- is an illusion.
Perhaps it is that self pitying part of us that enables us to think that we must endure some crappy job, or that we must stay in a relationship which no longer makes us happy. That somehow we can fix those things when clearly, we can't. We accept what is and avoid the conflict of trying to change things. Things become "fixable" when we decide that happiness is not an option- but misery always is.