Have you ever sacrificed your own happiness so someone else could be happy?
I mean how many times has someone wanted you to do something you really did not want to do because you knew it would be a miserable experience for you and then they got mad at you for not doing what would make them happy?
Or vice versa, you have a dream or opportunity you want to pursue but it would significantly affect someone else’s life so they’d rather you stay where you are and not follow your heart.
Why should someone else’s happiness be at the expense of your own? It shouldn’t.
We are all responsible for our own happiness.
You are not responsible for someone else’s happiness and they are not responsible for yours.
No one should want another to sacrifice their own happiness so that they themselves can be happy.
I speak from experience. When I found out that we were being given an opportunity to move to California I was ecstatic because it’s something I’d wanted for a long, long time, like over 20 years long. Unfortunately, the thought of telling my mother tapered my enthusiasm. I’m my mother’s only child and my two children are her only grandchildren so our moving away was very upsetting news to say the least. I know many families have dealt with the same issue – grandparents not wanting their children and grandchildren to move away and it brings up many emotions.
But it’s one thing to be sad about such changes in life. It’s another to make it the end of the world.
Yet my mother did just that. She made me feel like I’d completely betrayed her and put the weight of her unhappiness on my shoulders or at least that’s how I felt. I knew it was not mine to own but it still made me very sad to know she was hurting.
We could have easily said we’re staying so that our families could be content and not feel the sadness of our absence but the bottom-line is this…we owed it to ourselves to pursue our dreams and move towards a more ideal life for ourselves and our children. Staying for the joy of occasional visits at the expense of our everyday quality of life and joy made no sense and I’m perfectly okay with our choice to be happy. Besides we moved to another state not another planet. We visit, family and friends can visit and there’s always Skype.
Every day you should strive to live in your flow, to live an authentic life, to stand in your truth and to live your dreams not someone else’s.
Whether it’s moving across the world to your ideal Spot, coming out of the closet, quitting your job to be a stay-at-home mom, or pursuing a career in music when your parents want you to be a fourth generation doctor. Or a very common one with women and that’s staying in an abusive or miserable marriage for the sake of the kids.
This is YOUR life and you have the right to be happy in it. You have a right to pursue your own dreams. You have a right to joy and fulfillment and a sense of well-being.
I’m all for making appropriate and reasonable sacrifices for the happiness and well-being of others but when it comes to the big stuff, the major life decisions and your everyday quality of life, I say claim your slice of happiness and joy and give the would-be dream blockers the time and space to accept your right to live your most authentic and fulfilled life. They may be sad or hurt for a while, but they’ll get over it…and so should you. Besides, somehow it always works out for the best for everyone concerned. Even when it comes to the breakup of a family, your children will see you in a better place and ultimately they will benefit from a happier mom.
As for my mom, she has accepted and settled into the transition. It wasn’t easy but she survived and is doing fine. We talk often and we look forward to amazing visits with each other. In other words, it ain’t ideal, for she wishes we were there, but it’s all good and I know deep down she’s happy because we’re happy.
Now be honest, how are you sacrificing your own happiness for someone else’s? Please share below your thoughts, insights and ways you are letting someone else’s happiness come at the expense of your own.