I’m pretty sure you have heard the expression “doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons”. Well I’ve recently discovered the flip-side of this in my life “doing the wrong thing for all the right reasons”.
Happy. Seems like a nice word, but it has shaken my world to it’s core recently.
Maybe I’m just slow to catch on, but I have been driven to “make people happy” for as long as I can remember. Not just the people close to me, but whomever I encounter.
What I’ve discovered is it’s a trap. Yup, a trap. Because somewhere along the line, this lovely ideal of wanting to make the people around you happy becomes a responsibility that I/we were never meant to carry. Just like happiness is a personal choice (glass half-full, glass half-empty) it is also a choice for those we are trying “to make happy”. It’s their choice, not ours. It gets into this twisted circle of “if you would just be happy, then I could be happy – but if you’re not happy, I’ve failed”. Ugly trap indeed. Do you think that belief might weigh a person down and get heavier and heavier as time passes? Three guesses and the first two don’t count 🙂 .
What has amazed me most as I have dissected my beliefs recently about this quandary is the most generous thing I can do for those around me is take the time to figure out and then participate in what makes ME happy. Why? Because happiness is contagious. Being happy is so much more powerful than trying to make others happy. Duh! I’ve been so busy trying to make others happy – I’ve lost sight of what makes me happy.
There are multiple ingredients that have come together in my life to “cook up” this mess, but I can see where a large portion is because I live with the chronic illness, Fibromyalgia. I so don’t want to be a burden to those around me. My measuring stick has been if they are unhappy, it’s somehow my fault. What I mean by that is in some way I’m not managing my life well enough to not impact them [family, friends, co-workers] in a negative way. I’m just being transparent here, I’m not saying I’ve come to wise conclusions. But if you are recognizing yourself in any of this, THERE IS HOPE.
I searched the word happy in my bible and found Psalm 32:1 in the amplified version:
Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied)
is he who has forgiveness of his transgression continually exercised upon him,
whose sin is covered.”
Why, that would be me! All the mistakes I’ve made doing the wrong thing (trying to MAKE others happy) for the right reasons (because I want their lives to be better). I’m covered. I’m forgiven. I get a fresh start. So do you. Our Heavenly Father has the biggest “reset” button around!
What makes you happy? Do you know? If you don’t, take the time to find out and be happy! Be happy for your own sake … it’s one of the most generous things you can do for all the lives around you!
I hope the happiness I experienced visiting Pigeon Point, CA last year is contagious and you catch it as you watch …