Connecting with others and selected families
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust
Although your personal happiness depends first and foremost on you, others can help you along your path to happiness. This can be accomplished by consciously connecting with others who can help you on the path. Now there are a myriad of people in our lives, friends, family, coworkers and all the people we run into on a daily basis. Our initial expectation is that those who are closest to us are the people who are most responsible, after ourselves, for helping us move forward on the path to happiness. Unfortunately this is often not the case and in fact, sometimes they are the very people who can inhibit us from moving farther down the path. This is not a condemnation of those close to us, they have their own path to follow and their own mountains to climb. Sometimes the process that they must undertake can make our own journey more difficult. This is not to say you should become selfish and not assist them as best you can, in fact helping them can actually help you. Helping others is something we have discussed before and this is a great opportunity to put those thoughts into action.
However, you should also not sacrifice yourself for the mistakes of others. Your biological family was decided for you, but your friends, or as I like to call them your selected family was not. In creating your selected family it is important to choose people who bring you positive energy, make you feel good about yourself but do so in an honest manner. No one who always tells you only good things for fear of hurting your feelings is helping you. The best friends are those who will support you and when need be, honestly and compassionately let you know when you’ve gone astray.
I also highly recommend that in your selected family that you have people who make you laugh, the importance of laughter in our lives is huge. I think we all have made the mistake of including people in our circle of friends, or our selected family, who are consistently negative and bring us down. Although it can be stressful, or cause a confrontation, it is important to work these negative forces out of our lives. Any removal of negativity reasonably improves our situation and moves us down the path to happiness.
So in order to improve our happiness we need to have the appropriate people around us. Our selected family should be composed of positive, honest and upbeat people who can make us laugh. Those people who are negative, that for whatever reason you can’t remove from your life, need to have their impact minimized. Interact with them as little as possible and on a regular schedule so you know when the interactions will happen and limit the interactions to only necessary discussions. For those you have to remove from your life, do so as quietly and compassionately as you can, but make the break quickly and fully. If you leave them in your life at any level the negativity can creep back in.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
~ Mother Teresa