We are not responsible for the happiness of another

This is an interesting realisation if you like to please people or keep life on a happy course. You'll know you're this way inclined if you find unpleasant situations difficult, e.g. you are in a room full of arguing people and you take on the role of peacemaker to try and cheer people up. Perhaps we think that we are in some way responsible for keeping things nice for everyone. Eventually, after years of effort and discomfort for ourselves, we realise that something is amiss

Ultimately, we are not responsible for the happiness of another. We can be there for them, we can care about them, but we cannot prevent people from experiencing difficult situtations. When we experience difficult situations for ourselves we realise that the only transformative way to face up to the difficulty is to find some strength from within. And so it is with other people. We should respect them, be there for them and give them room to find their own inner resources.

There is a complicated balance to be found here between being stand-offish and irresponsible, to being overly interfering and foolish. Perhaps the key is to use compassion for other people and for ourselves. Once we learn to make use of compassion we start to find the middle ground that we need.

Why did I write this? Once we realise the above, there is something liberating about reacting to our habitual discomfort in more creative ways. We become slightly lighter in some way.


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