This month one of the topics we’re talking about is love. It’s a big topic and one that impacts all of us on a regular basis. Today I want to talk about one aspect of love that’s always controversial, the topic of happiness. Some people see love as the answer to their everlasting happiness, and that’s not surprising given the number of happy endings and happily ever afters we’re seeing on TV and movies or reading about. And love can play a role in happiness, some of the happiest people I know have love in their lives. But there are also people who expect love to bring them that happiness or create happiness in their life and don’t experience it. In some cases love did exist and then life happened and the love changed or died. That happens, but it’s not the full answer to the love/happiness debate.
Let’s start with the good side of love and happiness: it works. People who have love in their life, whether the love of a pet, a family member, a significant other or a career that they love and truly fulfills them are often happier than those who don’t. Those bonds of love can be part of the reason that they’re happy and give them the courage and strength to work through challenges that happen as a natural part of life, meaning they’re unhappy less often than other people. Of course the reverse can be true as well: those who are happy tend to have more love in their life. It’s not really easy to love a grump, but it is easier to love those who have a good attitude towards life.
That’s not to say that love or happiness means you’ll never have problems or that life will be perfect. That’s not true for anyone, not even the happiest or most in-love person. Everyone has bad days. Those who depend on the love of another for their happiness are taking a big risk and putting a lot of responsibility where it doesn’t really belong. It’s no one’s job but yours to ensure your happiness, health or satisfaction with life. If you’re not in a situation that makes you happy and you’ve really given it a full effort to make it work you should leave. I’m not encouraging that you chase every rainbow or every bit of greener grass, but if you’re not in a good situation and you can’t make it better and the other people in the situation won’t help you make it better, then be encouraged that there are many other opportunities and people out there. You may find that you have to kiss a few frogs first as the saying goes though.
We’ll be talking on the Life and Business blog tomorrow more about the relationship between love, happiness and relationships, but for today I want to finish here with a bit of encouragement. Love can be messy, as can life. But I believe there is hope and happiness to be found in each and every day if we’re open to it and willing to work for it.