I tend not to rely on the “shoulds” or the “shouldn’ts” when giving suggestions to clients as those two words lock us into some rigid thought patterns which work against movement and growth. When it comes to relationships; however, there is one thing you should never say to a loved one:
“Make me happy.”
We grew up with notions of fairy-tale love; love that completes, love that comes in on its’ white horse and whisks us off to a castle to live happily ever after. (That does sound kind of nice!) But it isn’t realistic. It doesn’t show the work of love, the investment of love, the time and effort of love. Sometimes we may not say those actual words to a loved one, but it is believed, implied, or understood as being a part of their job.
We are not responsible for another person’s happiness. We are responsible for our own happiness. Are we responsible for how we make other people feel? Of course we are. We make choices every day that either feed the health of the relationship, or foster its dysfunction. Do we want to be with someone who cares about and shares in our happiness? Absolutely! But when it comes to happiness, it is our responsibility to work towards a feeling of contentment across all fields, including the love we have with others.
And so, love compliments. It compliments the love and respect we have for ourselves, it builds upon inner contentment, it becomes woven into our being through action and intent. Love will compliment and give power to the happiness we set out to seek for ourselves. 🙂
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@artbyhybrid