I’m a little “down” today. Not for any particular reason. Just an ongoing situation that I give too much thought to sometime. It centers around a person I love very much but who has never found a lot of happiness in this world.
I would give anything to be able to gift-wrap happiness for them as they always seems to be in short supply. Their glass is always half-full There’s not a lot of joy in their life. But I’m learning that in the final analysis I can “gift” happiness only to myself. While other people and adverse circumstances can negatively impact our lives (sometimes dramatically and sometimes for a long time as in the case of grieving), in the final analysis, we determine our own level of contentedness. Believe me I haven’t quite got this right myself but it’s still true because it’s a fundamental tenet of Christianity and all major religions.
Ultimately, we are the ones responsible for our own sense of well being. It isn’t easy finding equilibrium when someone we love is miserable. For me, it hurts more than just about anything else I can think of because I have an insatiable need to make everyone happy. But we can’t, no matter how hard we try, make anyone else happy. (I think most of us know that on some level or another.)
Everyone has to mine their own gold.
With that being said, let me encourage you if you are feeling as I am today. Get on with your life. Get up and get moving. When you do, you will start to feel better and your mind will start to occupy itself with other matters. “Putter” as much as you need to ’till your “sputtering” dies down. Talk with a friend but then let it go. Constant rehashing makes it worse. Rumination (rehashing ad infinitum) is a symptom of depression and can also trigger depression. Avoid it at all costs. It never helps.
So what do we do when those closest to us are miserable? For me, I do my best to keep own head above water knowing that someone has to stay afloat. I keep treading water until the situation improves while guarding my heart against further damage. “Gift” yourself some happiness today. Don’t let someone else’s misery take away your joy. It’s not insensitive. It’s the kindest thing you can do for them and for you.