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May the world be kind to you, and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why I Choose to Believe that Others are Never the Cause of My Unhappiness

I received a question about the message "FORGIVENESS - the second Point of Simply An Inspired Life." The simplified version of the question is, "I don't understand how you can believe that other people don't make you happy or unhappy."

Most everything in life is about our point-of-view rather than any absolute. If I say, "Judy makes me unhappy," that's neither true nor false. If I say that my happiness has nothing to do with Judy, that is also neither absolutely true nor false. If I say that I feel unhappy when I'm around Judy, that's a little more objective, but it doesn't address the question of cause.

So why is it important whether we blame other people for our unhappiness (or for our happiness)? It isn't because of philosophy or a need to ponder the meaning of life. It's purely practical. If I choose to believe that the behavior of others determines my happiness, I become a helpless tumbleweed, blown about by circumstances, with no apparent ability to direct my own life. However, if I choose to believe that I am in control of my life, then annoying people, like all other obstacles in life, become just stones in my path - a nuisance, but not a road block.

Whenever I choose to carry resentment and hatred, I am shouldering an immense burden that damages my happiness, and often my health. So what if my resentment and hatred are "justified," they only hurt me, not the person I resent.

The key point is that we do have a choice of how we view the various nuisances on our life path. One choice makes us slaves to circumstances, while the other empowers us and motivates us to follow our dreams - and our happiness.

10 comments:

  1. Amen!!!!I totally agree because I used to allow people to dictate my happiness & was really unhappy when I didn't need to be. I am grateful for your insight and look forward to each day - you make me smile :-)

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  2. actualli it not true...tht other ppl makes u unhappy..there are ppl in this world " which would kill them to see u happy " bt there are other ppl who always try to make u smile..it depends on ur frnds..on how they are going to make u life..u lead ur life..u cant blame other 4 ur unhappiness..bcos it depends on how u are taking tht matter...and i am soo lucky to have a peson in mi life who is always willing to spend their time in making me happy..and it is none other than my brother..and he ALWAYS makes me happy eveytime i sad....and so u decide ur happines..and it depends how u take tht matter and shuld never decide tht others makes u unhappy

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had a job that required me to handle complaints from employees about their payroll matters. The other workers wonder what did I say to these people, they would come into my office mad, and when they left they all had a smile on their face or they would be laughing.

    I had a sign on my desk and I would say to the upset employee, make sure that you read this sign before you leave my office.'HAVE A NICE DAY UNLESS YOU HAVE MADE OTHER PLANS'.

    This made them stop and think about their actions or unactions that causes them to be upset. If they choose not to come to work they did not get a full weeks pay. If they choose did not pay their bills; garnishmet to follow.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This theory only works when u r at arms length of the other... It all changes when you love aka trust... aka become vuknerable to someone. I am an extremely emotionally controlled person yet even I am reminded I of my humanity from time to time.. People can hurt you... and we can intellectualise it as much as we want but that only defers growth. Accept that other people can hurt you.. Allow yourself to feel the pain.. forgive both yourself and thereself.. grow by deciding what you will do differently next time.. heal and move on... Emotion is an innate part of being human.. If we are supposed to feel irrespective of the others around us it will only result in isolation..

    ReplyDelete
  5. I totally agree with this! I have a choice to get irritated by others or shrug it off, accept them for who they are with no expectations and be happy about it!!!!! All though, I know I do annoy others with my optimism. But I figure a little happiness in someone's life never hurts.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why should we give the GREAT POWER of determining how we must feel, to anyone else?

    That's what we do if we let another person make
    us mad !! Seesee

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with you Mr Jonathon Lockwood Huie it's wrong to let others dictate your feelings...I couldn't agree more.

    Thank-you
    Shriya

    ReplyDelete
  8. @anonymous September 6, 2009 1:07 PM "and i am soo lucky to have a peson in mi life who is always willing to spend their time in making me happy..and it is none other than my brother..and he ALWAYS makes me happy eveytime i sad"
    You are so fortunate to have such a brother... looka after him!
    keven

    ReplyDelete
  9. So very true in all situations. It all boils down to RESPONSIBILITY....taking responsibility for our selves. This does not mean we are completely self sufficient and will never depend on another. It means we have an ATTITUDE of self sufficiency....true in relationships and also in the economic society. Blaming others for our own attitude is a waste of precious time and energy....he who anger you, controls you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. thank you for giving me the strength and courage to face nuisances that block my happiness. i am just too afraid or become a slave to these circumstances which affects my well being and morale. i will take it in stride, as a grain of salt, so to speak. i must be strong to stand for the person that i am.

    ReplyDelete

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