"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. " ~Dalai Lama
I find the topic of happiness an intriguing one. For a long time, I did not know the true meaning. I glimpsed moments of it and analyzed my emotions, trying to capture what it was and how it felt. I've learned that happiness means something different to each individual and therefore, defining it is an impossible task. However, one thing that I have come to realize is that we absolutely create our own happiness in the way we view the world, in the way we view others, in the way we allow these things to impact us. Happiness is not left to the gods of chance, it is not something to be gifted upon us or something withheld because we are undeserving. Each one of us creates our own light and our own life.
I bring up this topic because I have been forced to view the impact of happiness on my own life and on the lives of those that surround me. I say forced because sometimes people's situations can not help but impact you and the way you think. I had a customer the other day who gave me a lecture on marriage and how I should never marry because it will end in a bitter divorce. His opinion clouded my own beliefs if only for a second. But I realize that his decisions are not my own, his life is not mine. We often let others paths cross our own and start to see our lives reflected in the eyes of others. This can be dangerous if we allow that glimpse to become a worrying doubt, a haunting belief that maybe that will happen to us too.
I've been hearing a lot about relationships lately, about how they never work out, about how guys will betray you, about hardship, about fighting. I try not to let it in. I try not to let it affect me. But the truth is it always has a way of creeping in the cracks. Now is my relationship perfect? No. But I am happy, and just because these situations are happening around me, it doesn't mean that they will happen to me. I keep my life separate, I keep my opinions quiet because the only person to whom they matter is me. If I let every person in my life sway my opinion, I would be a very unhappy person. At the same time, if I let everything that happened in my past, every relationship that went terribly wrong, every person that I lost affect my every day decisions and thus those of the people around me, where would I be? Nowhere. I would be lost. I would be stuck never moving on. It's unhealthy, and I choose every day to move forward and not look back.
The point I'm trying to make today, and I hope I'm being clear, is that we do make our own happiness. It may not look like the happiness of the next person, and it will be perceived differently from an outsider's opinion, but it is our own. No one can judge how happy we truly are, no one can tell us how to feel, no one can predict how our lives will go. You need to remember that, because if you start listening to everyone else and stop listening to yourself, that's where the real trouble begins. You are the only person who knows what is right for you. If you're not in a situation you like then change it. If you're not happy then find something or someone that will make you happy. Talking about it and projecting the drama of your situation onto others only helps you to blow off steam, but it's worth nothing in the end unless you actually do something about it. After all, actions really do speak louder than words, so stop preaching and start changing. You'd be amazed at what you can find when you stop the cycle of talking and not doing; you'd be amazed at what you can find when you start focusing solely on you.