Life is full of obligations. There are lots of things that we have to do for others that are burdensome, unpleasant or just not fun. That is life. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: Will I serve with a bitter heart or a joyful heart? To give you an example, my daughter […]
In fairy tales, there is always a Prince Charming, someone who comes and saves the day. In fact, most children’s stories have a hero, someone who solves a big problem that no one else can solve. Unfortunately, in real life, there is no Prince Charming.
The only person who can solve your problems is the person who you look at in the mirror every morning. Yes, you. If you have a problem that you want fixed, look no further than yourself.
That is a tough pill to swallow for many of us. But it is part of growing up. When we are small, our parents solve a lot of our problems for us. But as we get older, we are expected to fix our own lives. However, our instinct still is to look for someone to solve our problems in the way that our parents did.
This desire to have another person fix our lives can lead to all kinds of problems. It can lead us to marry the wrong person. It can lead us to look to our parents to help us when we should be independent. It can lead us to think that it is the job of other people to fix our lives while we sit back and wait.
And while I use the term “Prince Charming,” I can assure you that both men and women have this issue. How many husbands blame their wives for their dissatisfaction with life, while taking zero responsibility for their own happiness? How many young men expect their parents to bail them out of debt when they should be taking responsibility for their own finances? We all fall prey to the idea that a “Prince Charming” is going to rescue us, rather than taking responsibility for our own lives.
In my own life, I am married to someone who is as close to Prince Charming as you can get. He is handsome, stable and kind. But getting married to my husband didn’t eliminate my problems. It simply changed them.
For instance, when I was single, I had the stress of financially caring for myself and my daughter. I also had to face the loneliness that goes along with being a single person. Those issues were resolved I when got married. But then I got new ones. The hard truth is that when you get married, you have to deal with the emotional baggage that your spouse may have from prior relationships. You also have to deal with your spouse’s family, which can be challenging, depending on what kind of people they are.
So, no one person is going to fix your life completely. Yes, people can make your life better. A solid, responsible, mature spouse can make your life a whole lot easier. Similarly, having kind, mentally stable, morally upright parents also can help immensely. But you will still encounter problems in life, and no one can solve them but you.
That is the tough part about growing up. When we grow up, we need to stop expecting other people to fix our lives. We need to stop expecting others to make us happy. And we need to stop blaming others if we are miserable.
But being responsible for yourself is a good thing! It is good to take responsibility for your own happiness. That is because when you take responsibility for your happiness, you are far less annoying.
The truth is that no one is really interested in the fact that you are dissatisfied with life. Over the years, I’ve had people tell me that they are unhappy. These folks haven’t had any real problems, like a lack of food or shelter. They’ve had what I refer to as “first world” problems. They were just dissatisfied with normal life.
When people have told me their “first world” woes, on the outside, I have tried my best to look sympathetic. But on the inside, I was thinking, “My God. Stop whining. Solve your own problems. Go do something that makes you happy and stop bothering everyone. Figure it out!” That may sound callous, but I can assure you that 99% of people are like me.
One “first world” woe people like to complain about is boredom. My goodness. If you are bored with life, it is because you lack basic intellectual curiosity. You only have to go to your local bookstore or library, and you’ll find fascinating books on all kinds of topics. Who can be bored if there is a good book within reach?
Similarly, if you are sad because your life is “unfulfilling,” it is because you lack gratitude. There are so many people in this world who would love to have your life. They would love to have your spouse and your children. They would love to have your house, car and clothing. They would love to have your job. If they could be you for just one day, they would think that they’d died and gone to heaven.
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to figure out your life. Do what makes you happy (as long as what makes you happy doesn’t bother anyone else). Fix what bothers you. Don’t expect anyone to do it for you or with you. Your happiness is a solo job.
Unfortunately, many relationships fail because one person is waiting for the other person to make him or her happy. No one wants to have that burden. No one wants to be your Prince Charming.
What you reasonably can expect from the other people is this: You can expect people to be kind to you. You can expect them to treat you in a respectful manner. You can expect them to not physically hurt you or behave irresponsibly with your feelings. But you cannot expect other people to make you happy. That is your job.
This week, think about whether you are waiting for a Prince Charming to solve all your problems. Consider whether it is time to start taking responsibility for your own problems and your life. You will be happier when you decide to take charge of your own life, instead of expecting others to take charge of it for you.
(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)
Books: “The Secrets to Success for the Working Mother” by Meerabelle Dey (https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Success-Working-Mother/dp/1546329544 )