Taking Back the Happiness Key

Keys

I’m not old by any means, but at thirty-four years of age, I have learned a few things.  Many of them have solidified here in my brain quite recently, but there is no less reason to celebrate, and no other reason to not be joyful that the lessons WERE learned.  I believe that one of the most important lessons I have learned references the above photo, and not letting others hold the key to your happiness.

I spent the majority of my life figuring this one out, and now that it is fairly stuck in my head, I have absolutely no intention on letting it slip back out again.  Not to say that I won’t have moments when I don’t misplace said key or loan it to someone that isn’t worthy, but overall, the key to my own happiness resides within me, and I can’t be any more pleased to have finally figured out this life lesson.

Part of a Rosa problem, is to let the actions (and sometimes inactions) of people around me, bring me down.  Through DBT and individual therapy, and just a whole lot of pondering, I have realized that what other people do or don’t do, is entirely up to them; it is my REACTION only that I control.  If someone acts offensively toward me, I might wonder what that had to do with me, and be very confused (or scared or upset or other negative emotion).

Here recently, I have realized that sometimes people behave badly for no reason (or, no reason to do with something I can control).  I can walk away.  AND, I can walk away with my head held high, because I have learned another lesson the hard way — this is not about me, and not everything IS about me.  I am not the center of most people’s universe, so just because they throw sticks and stones my way, doesn’t mean it is about me.

I wish I could have realized some of these lessons when I was much, much younger.  Growing up in a household where one parent often flew off the handle for (seemingly) no reason, and spending a lot of time thinking that things were my fault — much displaced guilt, shame, fear.

Being in romantic relationships where I was constantly being bullied, although I could never see a *why* in it, but just figured it was something I “had” to take — how I wish I wouldn’t have lingered in those situations so long.  Knowing that I may not have, knowing that I hold the key to my own happiness and it is my reactions to other people (and their behavior) that I am able to control…wow, if I could only have known those things then.

So where to go from here?  I have already stopped taking the bullstuff of others so personally.  When someone around me is having a bad time, I don’t always assume it is because of something I have done.  If I am feeling down or blue or sad or anxious, I have tools that I pull out to make myself feel better.

It doesn’t always work, but it seems that I have learned to better comfort myself, rather than constantly seeking comfort from another person.  Now, I still do seek comfort from others, but I am also now much more likely to do the things I know how to do to comfort myself first.  This makes for better relationships all around, especially if I am not begging someone else (generally QoB or my Dad or LarBear) to comfort me all the time.

comfort myself

via teachingliteracy.tumblr.com

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Taking Back the Happiness Key

  1. One of the weirdest things I FINALLY realized is that not only can I not control what other people do, what they do may not have anything to do with me — even when it seem directed at me. Recently — Garry was yelling at me and I couldn’t figure out why until eventually, I realized he was furious with someone else entirely. But he couldn’t yell at HER, so he was yelling at me.

    When things are going well, we feel like we’re in control. When stuff starts spin out of control, we realize how little control we have. All we can do is hold on tight and try not fall!

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    • Yes, LarBear gets rude with me sometimes when the person he is not actually mad at is not available, as well. I have learned to shrug this off, because it doesn’t happen often, and I do kind of *get* it. Yes, right now things feel in control — that probably won’t last long, but I’m gonna enjoy it while I can!! 😀

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      • I have come to believe that letting your partner blow off steam is a legitimate function of being part of a couple. As long as I know he isn’t really mad at ME, I’m okay with it. He isn’t much for letting his feelings hang out, so anytime he opens up, even “sideways,” it’s probably a good thing. Relationships are awfully complicated and they are never like they are on TV or in the movies. Real life is infinitely more strange than any fiction 🙂

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    • I use a variety of things, but a few things of DBT self-soothe that seem to really *always* work are to press a freezing cold washrag to my face, take an extremely hot bath, put on a new Scentsy (or candle), burn incense, or really anything that is changing to one of your senses. I also practice a lot of DBT distract, which can be anything from blogging to reading to taking a walk to doing dishes to phoning an old friend. The trick is to zap your mood and thoughts out of whatever you are thinking about at the present that has you so upset. I hope at least one of those suggestions is helpful. Like I said, the icy washrag on the face and neck works best for me.

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  2. I love that last quote. Thank you for this piece. Sometimes after being around family I purposely moved away from I forget basic lessons I’ve learned and revert back to old thinking habits and feelings of guilt.

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