Tuesday, August 21, 2012
When People Make You Feel Guilty for Pursuing Your Own Happiness
Guilt is a low energy emotion. A lot of things that make us feel guilty really should not, but our crappy programming and belief that we should never be too concerned about our own happiness weaken our defense against this feeling. One of the biggest barriers to pursing what we want in life is other people, whether it is family, friends or just society at large. In your pursuit of happiness and well-being, you may upset some people with your decisions and they are going to make you feel badly. It is important to defend yourself against this at all costs or you will end up living your life for other people.
Know That No One is Responsible for Anyone Else’s Happiness
You are not responsible for anyone’s happiness nor is anyone responsible for yours. Happiness comes from the inside and no matter all the wonderful people you have in your life, all the money ,the great job and anything else on the outside, none of it will matter if we do not address our internal issues. We put too much stock in other people to provide for our happiness all the time. That is why we have such a hard time getting over a break up, even if we know this person was the worst possible match for us. That is why parents lay guilt trips on their kids all the time; they expect that their children owe them for all the sacrifice required of raising them and all of their choices should be of benefit to them.
I am not saying screw everyone and do what you want with no regard for anyone else. I am not talking about doing things that are truly hurting other people. What I am saying is that you should not feel guilty about doing what makes you happy simply because someone else does not like it.
Because nothing outside of us can ever make us happy, you giving in to someone else’s desires will not do much anyway. No one else is ever someone else’s key to happiness, well being and peace of mind. If anyone is trying to make you feel like you are responsible for making them happy, know they are in the wrong, not you.
Distinguish Between Truly Hurting Someone or Merely Upsetting Them
So many people fail to do what they truly want in life because of other people. We are made to feel guilty for wanting anything for ourselves; we are taught to always put other people’s needs before our own. I call bullshit on this one. Again, I am not talking about being a total a-hole and stepping over others to fulfill all your whims. I am not talking about letting your children starve so you can get a manicure. I am talking about the things that we want that will not truly not hurt anyone; the things that are perfectly okay to want for yourself; the things that upset people because pursing your needs will interfere with their needs and they do not like that.
I know it is hard to face opposition to our choices, to hear that other people do not like them and wish we would do something else, but that is their problem not yours. As long as you are not truly hurting anyone, you should do whatever you want. Remember, no one is responsible for anyone else’s happiness.
People’s Criticisms of You Have Nothing to Do With You
Whenever we find ourselves being judgmental or critical of others, we know deep down it has nothing to do with that person and it is all about us and our issues. If people are giving you flack for your life choices, it is because they are unhappy with theirs, plain and simple. If we can remember this, it will make it a lot easier to do what we want in life because we will know all the junk coming from everyone else is all about them and nothing about us.