Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sometimes we carry a sense of entitlement that makes us believe that other people owe us, that they are somehow responsible for our happiness. If we are sad, they need to give us support. If we are lonely, they should keep us company. If we are in a relationship, our mates are supposed to protect us from pain. They should be sorry when we are mad and attentive when we are sad. They should promise that no matter what happens, they would never hurt us. These are impossible expectations.
Although it is normal and self-respecting to want others to treat you well, in the end it is your responsibilty to take care of yourself. If you are in a situation in which you aren't being treated with respect, it is upto you to remove yourself from that situation. There is a fine line between being taken advantage of and letting youself be taken advantage of.
Unrealistic expectations always end up hurting you. The more you believe others owe you, the sadder you are when they don't deliver. The "If they loved me, they would do this and wouldn't do that" game is a setup for heartache. If you are able to say to yourself, "It is my job to be happy. It is my job take care of myself, to be healthy, and to give myself the things I need," then you are owning your power to be happy or not.
You can't make rules in relationships to ensure that you never get hurt. You can't leave it up to someone else to make sure that you are happy. If you do so you will end up feeling disappointed and sometimes even brokenhearted. But you can take responsibility for your own happiness. You can be sure that you don't end up in the position of the victim. You do this by acknowledging whose job is it to take care of you --- yours. You do this by putting yourself in situations that are healthy, with people who are good to you and who understand friendship and commitment. When you find yourself unhappy, you look at your circumstances and figure our what you can do to change them. This is what it means to take responsibility for your happiness, and this is one way you can begin showing yourself the love you deserve.