Does my life seem to be filled with hours and hours of trying to keep others happy, such as my partner, their parents, my parents, my friends, my boss, and so on? When I slip and someone becomes disappointed in me, do I redouble my efforts, and kick myself for not meeting their standards?
When I do find time for just myself, I may find I'm far from happy. It confuses me to no end. I've tried so hard to keep the rain of disappointment from falling on my head, yet my heart is just as wet from my own tears.
Maybe the truth is that, no matter what I do, I can never please others as much as they want to be pleased. In fact, when I take responsibility for others' feelings, I treat them like children, rather than as adults who are capable of deciding for themselves whether they want to be happy or miserable.
I can't stop others from being disappointed in me, or unhappy with me. But I can stop running my life to please them. When I do so, I discover that the most important person I forgot to take care was me. The happier I am despite what others around me feel, the more my life improves, and the more my relationship improves simply because of my changed disposition.
Sometimes we try to stop the rain from falling, when what we really need to do is fix the hole in the roof. - BH
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