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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Never...Put All of Your Emotional Eggs in Another Person's Basket

This is an excellent follow up piece to my happiness piece.

You are responsible for your own happiness. Nobody else. Never make the mistake of thinking your happiness relies or depends on someone else. For as surely as you do, you will feel the emotional pain of loss. Or negative emotions and disappointment.

Why do I say that? Can't we "trust" others?

The short answer is no. Trust is also the wrong word. Relying on people other than yourself for your happiness creates a potential victim situation for you. Failed expectations. It also creates complacency.

All of this is quite un necessary, avoidable, and insane. It is a belief system of ours, a long held one, that somehow we will meet someone and that they will deliver all of these emotional goodies. Perhaps it is remotely possible. But more likely, and my experience is, that people can't meet my insane expectations.

Therefore the problem is me. It is always me.

Do you remember one of my first blogs? Plato's cave and the illusions created on the walls? We have the same problem when we date, co-habitate, or choose to marry. The truth is, we simply don't know the fears and belief systems of the people we fall in love with. They are unconscious fears and beliefs and it is doubtful that the people who have them (all of us) even recognize them nor could we communicate them if we did. That's deep seated stuff.

I can say at 50, that in a 20 year marriage, I may have known the fears and motivations of my ex-wife perhaps to the extent of 40%. I place no better percentage than that- on the relationship that I have now-maybe slightly better. I had even far less understanding of my own emotions. Why is that?

Because it is virtually impossible to uncover them. Or to know what priority any individual places on fear, or control, or subconscious belief systems. Or what solutions they employ when confronted by negative possibilities. Some folks even kill themselves.

There is a solution. It is the same solution I have stated over and over. You simply can't take anything personally. Ever. You simply can't afford to rely on someone else for your emotional well being or happiness. And you shouldn't have to! Really. No guilt is required.

It is quite possible to enjoy your life and let others enjoy theirs. Will they lie, cheat, and steal? Of course. Will they fail to meet our crazy expectations? Of course. All of those things will happen to you...guaranteed...but the key is how will you respond? Will you get all angry and mad? Act like a lunatic and make it worse? Or will you simply accept that people are free to live their lives. All that you are required to do is to make a decision. Guilt free. You don't need to call every girlfriend that you have and build some insane consensus or lynch party. You simply decide whether or not you can accept a given behavior, talk about it and resolve it, and failing that- decide what to do for your own happiness. Make a choice.

I don't like to mention God on this blog, only because I am not a preacher nor do I tell people what to do along those lines. But, my success is heavily dependent on God. Very often, I ask.."what would God have me do?" That usually answers the question and I then do that. That message was well defined for me in "The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah." Do what makes you happy. Be impeccable as you can. Make decisions that are spiritually sound- decisions that make you happy. Just as you are responsible for your own happiness- it is not your job to furnish someone else with their happiness, either.

People fail, God never does.

Try to do the right thing even when your ego doesn't want you to. You are in charge. Not your ego, not your partner. Don't put all of your emotional beliefs in someone elses basket. Accept that people will fail. But that your happiness is not contingent on that. Loving ourselves and someone else does not involve controlling, manipulating, changing, or relying on someone else.

That's your job.