For those of us who want to see everyone happy…
There are two types of people who are greatly affected by the happiness of others. The unhealthy version is the co-dependent people pleaser. But, there are also those who, truly and deeply, wish to see others happy.
The co-dependent people pleaser doesn’t always genuinely care if others are happy. They, however, cannot be happy themselves without the approval of others. Because of this desperate need for approval, those of us who suffer from co-dependency are greatly affected by the unhappiness of our loved ones.
There are though, those of us who genuinely want others to be happy. This isn’t about approval. There is no motive or expectation. The lovers of others simply have deep love in their hearts for every person in their lives. These are the people who live in gratitude and faith. These are the lovers of life. Because of this state of appreciation they can see what everyone else is capable of as well. They see the best in others. This makes it even more difficult to see others living in unhappiness.
Whether you are co-dependent or a lover of life, and you could be a little of both, you cannot control the happiness of others.
Everyone is responsible for their own happiness.
This does not mean that love and kindness are not of great value. There will be times when you know you are meant to be helpful to someone. Your kindness and love hold value beyond measure to the people around you. But no matter how deep your love is, you cannot choose happiness for someone else. Your happiness may help others to find happiness, but you cannot force it upon them.
Sometimes, you can actually harm others in your attempts to help. If someone is repeating a negative life cycle, they usually have something to learn and somewhere to grow in order to move forward. When we save people of their consequences unnecessarily, we run the risk of delaying their process and actually worsening their situation.
It can be a challenge to know when it is time to help someone and when they will be harmed by your aid.
I myself, deeply wish to see others find happiness. When I see people in self-created misery, it hurts my soul. When I see people hurting others, it breaks my heart. When I see the great potential and beauty of another soul, and that person doesn’t see it themselves, it shakes the core of my being. All I want is to be able to show them, just for a second, the beautiful life they could create and convince them that they deserve it. But, I cannot do this. It must be them who goes searching. Sometimes, they may find something they are searching for in me and therefore see it in themselves. Sometimes, the words they need to hear come through me. But, I cannot choose this. It either happens or it doesn’t.
The most helpful practice I have found, in being less affected by the unhappiness of others, is living by one principle.
You cannot be everything to everyone.
This is one of the most important things I have ever learned and its practice has changed my life. You cannot be everything to everyone. It’s not possible. Being constantly aware of this lightens the burden of another’s unhappiness. This soothes the worry of whether we have helped the right people or helped enough.
We are something to many people. But there is literally not enough of you to be everything to everyone. Know this. Allow this knowing to go deep into your heart. Then, live by faith that everyone will find happiness in their own time. Believe that this will be the right time for them. Have faith, that through the guidance of your soul, you will help the right people at the right times. Let this be enough.
Written by Holly Kellums
Originally published on Medium.com