If we are looking to other people, places, things, or experiences to bring us happiness, peace, joy, and love we will always end up disappointed and let down.
While all of these things, particularly our relationships with others, have great potential to enrich our lives in numerous ways, none of these things can ultimately offer fulfillment
We can only do that ourselves.
This was modeled for me in one of my earliest romantic relationships.
I watched a man say, “If only I was able to get rid of this car payment, I’d be happy.”
He worked hard to replace his high car payment with a lower one, but still found himself frustrated and unhappy.
Then he said, “if only I could get a different job, I’d be happy.”
I helped him draft cover letters and resumes, did mock interviews with him, and then celebrated as he got what seemed to be the job of a lifetime.
Only to still be unhappy.
When these things failed to bring him happiness, he looked to me.
“I’m not happy in our relationship,” he said, “if I was single, I’d be happy.”
So we broke up.
He still wasn’t happy a couple of months later when he contacted me and tried to arrange for us to have dinner together. He’d made a mistake, he said.
This experience created an awareness of those situations in which I and others start to look outside of ourselves for validation, love, and acceptance in order to feel happy, complete, and whole.
To be able to validate and love ourselves is key.
It’s ongoing work and often results in one sitting in discomfort, but in this space, we can explore what brings us joy, contentment, and fulfillment on a deeper level.
Once we can answer these questions for ourselves, we can realign our goals with our values and choose to live a life guided and informed by our inner compass.
We need to build our lives on our terms and find our own paths to contentment and peace.
As long as we rely on something external of us, we will always be off course of what will bring us happiness.
The same is true of the people around us.
When we find ourselves in relationships with people who are struggling with self-worth and self-love we cannot “fix” them.
We cannot pour more love, attention, compassion, and understanding into someone else and expect that to magically make another person feel complete and whole.
That is not our role.
We cannot fix other people, nor can we love someone into loving themself.
The love that we give to others should be a wonderful addition to the love that they already have for themself, but it cannot replace it.
Love cannot rescue.
There is no shortcut that one can take in order to avoid doing the inner work to find individual peace, joy, and contentment.
Your Trusted Friend ❤︎