Whose life are you living?

May 7, 2014 Sandra Dawes

As a recovering people-pleaser, there was a time when I didn’t feel like I had many choices in life.  More correctly, that I had only one yourowntermschoice – do what I want or make someone else unhappy.  Living like this can be exhausting!  All the people in your life are never happy all at the same time!  You’re constantly putting out fires and soothing egos.  If you’re not careful, you can end up completely forgetting about your own happiness, mistakenly thinking it will come once everyone else is happy.

If this sounds familiar, trust me when I say I can relate!  It wasn’t until my father passed away that I really started to give serious thought to what makes me happy.  I finally came to the realization that trying to keep everyone in my life happy is an exercise in futility. It was never going to happen.  If it did, it certainly would have nothing to do with anything I did.  I now understand that the only person responsible for anyone’s happiness is themselves.   Once I got that, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders!

It can be easy to fall into the trap that we have to live our lives a certain way.  Regardless of where the pressure comes from, we are left feeling dis-empowered.  When we feel like we have no choice in the way that we live our lives, we are not realizing our full potential.  We leave our fate to traditions or popular opinion because it seems easier than “rocking the boat”.  The question we need to ask ourselves is: Does it make you happy?  Some of us believe that misery is a part of life, that happiness is a momentary thing, not a way of life.

Thankfully, I have come to realize that this isn’t the truth.  When we focus on our own happiness, our relationships flow easier.  We no longer have resentments that have built up due to putting the needs of others before our own.  We do things for others because of the love and honour we have for them instead of solely because we feel an obligation to do so.  Doesn’t that sound better than constantly worrying about the happiness of everybody else?

If this all sounds a little selfish to you, now’s the time to read a post I did earlier this year Why being selfish is a gift to others.  If you don’t take the time to focus on doing things that bring you joy, who will?  Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary!  When we are living the best versions of ourselves, the life we were meant to live, we can give our best to others.  If you want to give your best, you have to be your best in all ways!  Choose happiness and the life you want to live and inspire others to do the same. ♥

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