Guest Author - Tracy Hamilton
It can seem difficult to be happy when others around you are not. We tend to be easily influenced by others, and allow them to affect our mood and experiences.
Take the example of being in queue. If there is someone in the queue who is restless and wanting things to move quicker it soon affects everyone around them. If someone is dragging you down at home, or being abusive, it can be really challenging; and sometimes impossible, to maintain any sense of happiness.
The choice for happiness comes with responsibility. When we choose not to have the abuse, neglect or negativity of another, then we are called to action. We have to take steps to make changes. Sometimes the changes can be too overwhelming, so it seems easier to just stay with the situation and do nothing about it.
Opting for the second, or rather the perceived easy option, isn’t actually an easy option. It prolongs pain, it stands as a statement of how much you respect yourself and feel worthy of, and it slowly eats away at your sense of emotional and mental well-being.
We are easily manipulated by others because we have an inbuilt fear mechanism that stops us from truly being our-self. We constantly worry about what others will think, we pile guilt on ourselves and find all the perceived ‘bad’ things about ourselves that we fear another finding out; so we cover it all up in sugar coating and smile to the world pretending that everything is ok and we can cope.
Taking action shows self-respect and self-love. It says “I won’t stand for this”, and “I deserve better”. A good place to start is to question your situation and how it feels. Ask yourself why are you putting up with this? Why are you allowing this person power over you? What are you afraid of? What can I do to change this?
Having strong boundaries in place is also helpful in the process of making changes. Boundaries stand as a symbol of what you will accept and not accept. You probably know someone who is airy fairy and everyone takes advantage of, and another who you would never dream of pushing their boundaries. They effectively teach others how you expect to be treated.
Find all the things in your life to be grateful for, start to see the positive things around you and how being in this situation has led you to take action and to respect yourself. Making the next steps something to be grateful for allows a lightness to the situation, and breaks the feeling of being a victim of it.
Start setting goals for what you would like in your life instead of what you are currently experiencing/allowing. If you want to achieve peace, write what peace means to you and the steps that are needed to make that happen. If you want happiness, what is necessary for that to be achieved?
Making happiness a choice comes from a place of strength and self-love; it’s not easy, but it’s worth it.