New Discoveries: I Can’t Make You Happy

I am participating in the 137 Days Project, which is an online self-help course. Each day I have two short lessons or activities to do, and then I move an object from one mason jar to another, honoring the end of another day. My objects are black beans and chickpeas, something we always have on-hand in our vegetarian-centered house. 😉 The goal is to reflect every day until I reach New Year’s Eve.

I’ve really been enjoying this journey. We’ve thought a lot about gratitude, love, and our own self-made obstacles. However, yesterday I would say I had my first major revelation. I was asked to not just move an object over to signify the end of a day, but to also write down something I needed to let go of on a small piece of paper and put this in my jar along with my bean. My first thought was, I don’t feel like I’ve been harboring anything that bad or negative lately, so I just put my pen to paper and decided to see what came out. I shocked myself.

This is what I wrote: Stop feeling responsible for your entire family’s happiness.

Whoa! I had no idea I was doing this, but I definitely am. Every time I speak with a family member, I feel as if it’s my job to make them happy, as if I could do or say something to turn their day, week, year, life around.

Who am I to think I could ever control such a thing? I don’t know, but I’ve been trying. And don’t I have enough to handle in keeping myself happy?

So I am trying to remember to just let my own light shine, and that has to be enough. I can’t force or manipulate or plan happiness for anyone else.

Sigh. I’m relieved.


3 thoughts on “New Discoveries: I Can’t Make You Happy

  1. I love this. You always find the most inspiring non-self-helpy self-help writers. I am certain you’re going to inspire people in the same way one day, just by shining your own light. Love you!

    • Thanks! Those are meaningful compliments to me. A lot of self-help writers make with cringe…but every once and a while, I can find a good one.

      Even though I am not very religious in the mainstream way, I still love “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine….”

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