I would give anything to be able to gift-wrap a sense of well-being for those I love who are in short supply. But I’m learning that I can “gift” contentment 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), we are responsible for us and how we feel.
I use “well-being” and “contentedness” instead of “happy” because happiness is definitely dependent on circumstances. And circumstances around us are always changing.
But well-being and contentedness can exist without happiness and aren’t dependent on circumstances.
Believe me I don’t always get this distinction myself. For example, I would not say I’m feeling happy tonight. Why would I with my mom in the hospital? (You can read about it here and here.) But I can say that have a sense of well-being. I am at peace.
Ultimately,though, we are the ones responsible for our own sense of well-being. And this is hard to do when someone close to us is miserable. How dare we be OK when they are not? And if, like me, you have an insatiable need to make everyone happy, it’s even harder.
But we can’t, no matter how hard we try, make anyone else feel as we do.
Everyone has to mine their own gold.
I encourage you to get on with your life no matter how other people are feeling.
So what do we do when those closest to us are miserable and are bringing down our mood?
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 the downward pull on my mood..
“Gift” yourself some peace and contentment today. It’s not insensitive. It’s the kindest thing you can do for those you care about and for you.
God bless and have a good day.