Did I ever tell you about that time I went to marital counselling by myself? Before you go thinking I’m crazy, I’ll confirm for you that I am not. Remember how the old folks used to say, you can talk to yourself, but make sure you never answer yourself. I found myself in a situation where I kept answering myself and strange enough the answers never changed. Einstein said, ” If you want different results, don’t do the same thing.”
I know we don’t like people to get all up in our dirt, or even think we have issues because at the end of the day we should all be able to solve our problems, right? WRONG! Going to counselling doesn’t mean that you are weak or incapable of running your own life. It says you are open to another perspective other than your own.
So here goes my story, don’t JUDGE ME.
I went to counselling because I was going through a stage in my life where nothing seemed to be working. Life was chaotic and things that were not flowing for me. I needed to clear my head and the old folks were right answering myself was not working; actually, it was clouding my judgment. I know I previously mentioned marital counselling, but it turned out what I needed was total life counselling, and Dave was perfect.
I’m a woman, and I love fresh flowers, pink carnations to be exact. They aren’t expensive; they last a long time, and there was a time in my life where I always had them in abundance. So, I am working through different areas of my life with the counsellor, and we get to my relationship with my spouse, and he asked what were two of my top concerns.
The first, of course, was that I wanted to break the television in my bedroom. My husband is a night owl and enjoys watching TV. I am not. The second was that my husband doesn’t buy me flowers. I know, I know, first world problems, but still a problem because to me, it hurt my feelings and was a causing me a certain level of unhappiness.
Now in all fairness to my husband, I don’t think he was purposely hurting my feelings. We had discussed it before, but nothing ever changed. Buying me flowers just wasn’t a thing for him. I explained how annoyed I got because my husband knows I like pink carnations, but he never buys them whenever he gets beer from the store, even though he has to walk right past the flowers to get the beer. I know right? So I see the beer come home and there goes my mood.
I was at the point where my husband joined me for a session. My counsellor bought up the concern and gently suggested that perhaps whenever he buys beer, he should purchase me flowers. Well, that was easy enough, it worked, and for a few times after that I received flowers, and he enjoyed his beer, and it was a win-win for both of us. Or so I thought.
It didn’t last long, and to be honest, whenever he gave me the flowers it didn’t mean anything. You know how you feel when someone forces you to do something; you get no real joy or happiness from it. Well, that happened to me, and before I knew it, I wasn’t receiving flowers anymore. This whole ordeal was a swift reminder to me that I ALONE AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY HAPPINESS.
It was time for me to take personal responsibility for what I was feeling. The thoughts I created about not getting the flowers produced a negative attitude toward my husband. Now looking back on it, it was a ridiculous notion, to begin with. Happiness doesn’t depend on what you have, what you do or what you receive. Happiness depends on what you think.
And I think I’ll buy the flowers myself.
Sometimes, the simplest of things, with the most natural solutions bring us the greatest amount of grief. While I was busy being unhappy about the flowers it never occurred to me that my husband had never bought me flowers. Why should I put that expectation on him now, if I had already accepted it? However, he did do several other things that he knew I loved. Why should he be responsible for my happiness?
I’m sure you’ve heard happiness comes from within, but it’s not the heart, it’s the mind. Happiness is a habit, cultivated by our thoughts.
I enjoy buying my flowers now; it is a form of self-care for me. I encourage you to take a look at something that is causing unhappiness in your life. What are the thoughts you are having? Can you change your thoughts, so your feelings about the situation change? Once you change your feelings, you can think more clearly to create a positive solution.
Here is a simple exercise. Pull out a sheet of paper or grab the form from my website at www.escapeyourmess.com/happinessisfree .
1. The first column should be, things I am unhappy about,
2. The second column should be, am I holding someone else responsible (add their name).
3. The next column what feeling is this thought producing.
4. And finally the last column, can I think about this situation another way that shifts the responsibility to me and encourages me to seek a solution.
Don’t put the key to your happiness in some else’s pocket. Mahatma Gandhi said, ” Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.” Here’s to finding that harmony.
Telanna is a businesswoman and personal excellence coach. Through her free resources and personal coaching, she helps moms manage their time effectively so can live out their purpose, by permitting themselves to do what they love. Find her on your favourite social media platform @escapeyourmess.