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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happiness is Always...An Inside Job

Many years ago, in my second year of college, I remember the first love of my life talking about her grandmother. She said that in the old days, marriages were arranged. That people actually learned to love each other.

It was my belief back then- that this was nonsense. That from my highly evolved 21 year old brain.

A few days ago, I was talking to a gal who was whining about the guy she lives with. In addition to complaining about him, she complained about the last one. She said her "picker" was screwed up.

You get the same idea when you go to one of these dating sites. People trying to find someone in the insane idea that there is someone out there, "who will make them happy." Make no mistake about what I am about to say. Absolutely nobody, other than you, is responsible for your happiness.

In an extension of the unconscious belief system that plagues many of us, we believe that there is nothing wrong with us. I even hear people say, mostly gals, that they refuse to "settle." In other words, they want someone who they think will complete them or live up to some imagined set of standards that only they have swimming around in their heads. The people who settle they say, are the people who lack self esteem.

So what is it these people want? Money, good looks, adoration, control, great sex? Mutual interests? Good DNA? Do they want honesty, loyalty, trustworthiness? Of course. Well after they complete their secret laundry list of 40 things they think they must have, they have now eliminated virtually everyone.

What does that mean for them? Well, it means of course...that they can live alone for ever, or they will be forced to "settle." Or date 500 people in some sort of marathon event while critically judging everything they have to say and eliminating potential partners as quickly as possible. It is insanity.

Happiness is an inside job. You don't need anyone to make you happy. That's your job. When you are happy with who you are, you will no longer worry about that nonsense. When you are happy in your own skin, when you quit judging everyone critically, you no longer say things like I refuse to "settle." You don't fear relationships. You simply realize that you are a good person, and good people are tolerant and forgiving. Good people do not run around critically judging others and condemning them, driven by fear simply because someone refuses to notice your haircut. That was the big transgression that brought on my friend's rant. Apparently she forgot to add, "makes compliments and notices everything" on her laundry list. Maybe she will kick him out.

Some 29 years later, I have changed my belief system. I think it is entirely possible for an arranged marriage to work. Especially if the two people involved grasped this concept. In fact, I honestly believe I could learn to love anyone. How's that for rotation? I can say that because I am happy. My happiness no longer depends on some artificial notion or something from the exterior world. I no longer rely on anybody other than myself to do a job that was always mine to do in the first place.