Creating Boundaries Creates Happiness: Part 6
Hey you! Thanks for sticking with us for Part 6 of our blog series about boundaries, I am responsible for my own happiness!
When I was younger, I had a really bad habit of thinking my happiness was wrapped up in my friends, my boyfriend, or my success in sports and school. If something went wrong, it was because my boyfriend was a jerk, my coach was an idiot, and my teacher hated me. Nothing was ever my fault- it was everyone else's problem.
It wasn't until I went through a real crisis, (not just typical teenage/young adult drama) that it dawned on me that I would never be fully happy if I was constantly blaming or depending on someone else to make me happy. This might be a gloomy thought, but no one cares more about your happiness than you! That was hard thought for this sensitive, romantic, optimist to accept! But that didn't mean my best friends, family, and partner didn't love me or care about making me happy. It just meant that putting the expectation on them that I was or should be their number one priority was never going to be realistic. I was setting them up to fail.
I began working on mentally releasing those closest to me from the expectation that they provided my happiness. If I really loved someone, I needed to make sure they were a whole person too. You see, if someone is always worried about me, that means I'm demanding they take time away from working on themselves to fulfill an emptiness in me. That didn't seem very fair.
I started checking my selfish and negative thoughts right when they came in. It sounds stupid to talk to yourself in your head, but it's all about training your brain to start new healthy patterns.
Instead of thinking, "My friends don't want to hang out with me anymore since I had a baby". It became, "My friends and I are in different chapters in our lives and that's okay. We had a lot of fun years together and they made my youth a blast. I will always care about them and wish them well."
Instead of thinking, "My husband didn't even ask how my day was! He's selfish." I flipped that to "My husband worked a lot of long hours to benefit our family. He's working hard to become a better person and that will only make him a better husband and dad in the long run. This is just a season in our life and I really do love him."
Instead of thinking, "I did ____ a favor the other day and now they can't even help me out?! They used me!" It became, "I did ____ a favor because I enjoy helping and feel good about that. I do nice things because I like to, not so that people will owe me. They are a good person and I'm sure their reason is valid."
For me, my happiness journey began at this step in making boundaries. When I took responsibility to make myself happy and took that off others, I noticed those around me seemed to enjoy spending time and doing special things for me more. I was no longer draining others to give me more and more of themselves all the time. In every situation, you own responsibility for your response, your interaction, your attitude. You own your thoughts. You choose happy or you don't.