Consolation Thoughts

Be Generous and Magnanimous in Good Feelings

Once we get to a place where we are feeling good more than not (which is the opposite of how it used to be before the process of recovery went into effect—where the good feelings only came around occasionally if at all), we might notice that we are unintentionally participating in a dysfunctional practice that we may have been victim to when we were children.  It’s the nobody-else-can-be-happy-when-I-am-happy game (which is the inverse of nobody-else-can-be-happy-if-I’m-not-happy—and we know this one, too, because it’s how we got to the place in the first place of how we can’t have/own/hold our own happiness in that we are used to giving it away and/or surrendering it if/when others aren’t happy—we give away our happiness out of habit because this was a survival mechanism for us when we were younger).  This (the tug-and-shove games) is so typical of victims (a strong word, sorry) of parentification and, specifically, emotional incest (also known as covert incest).  The perpetrators (in this case, unfortunately, our own parents) take from us in order to get their fuel/kicks/power.  This is/can be a leg of narcissistic abuse and emotional abuse (which is a subcategory of narcissistic abuse).

You may notice that when you are happy, you have the power to profoundly influence other people to choose to be happy.  And most of the time (now that we have become genuinely happy in life and in love), there is no glitch for us here.  We are able to accomplish the objective of spreading the love and the warmth and the smiles and the fun and the all-around-feel-good happiness that we feel within us and can’t exactly contain (because we aren’t supposed to suppress happiness!).  Happiness is contagious!  It’s a wonderful thing!

But sometimes there is a glitch in all of this.  We might find that when we are happy, we act in ways that contribute to causing other people to not be very happy.  As if our happiness took a wrong turn and became something like arrogance where we are now acting as if and treating others like we are (and our happiness is) more important than their happiness.  And so we may say things or do things that cut down other people and/or their “up” mood.  Almost as a way to poke them or challenge them (not in a good way) or be a wrinkle in their good feelings.  Ever so slightly we might do this (as was done to us for all of those years).  It’s almost like we are testing their happiness (not in a good way), calling attention to the fact that it is we who (we think) controls their happiness.  Like they wouldn’t be in this happy mood if it weren’t for us [so they’d better be grateful and not get too ahead of themselves or start thinking that they can be happy on their own].

See how push-and-pull this is?  It’s not fair to those we are in relationship with (whoever we are talking about—our spouse, our children, our friends).  We need to learn (and awareness is certainly the first step!) how to be generous and magnanimous in our dealings with others at all times—including when we are in good moods!  Including when we are happy and want to spread it!  Spread the love and the joy and the good-natured-ness freely and fairly.  With no strings attached.  We don’t need to cut anyone else down in order for us to stay/be happy.  Our happiness is our choice, just as other people’s happiness is their choice.  See the light on this?  Let us let go of the yanking around (be it ever so gently and under-the-surface) of other people.  Let other people have their own happiness!  They don’t owe us.

We can get our fuels and our kicks and our power now from knowing that we have chosen the good and fair path—one where we allow ourselves to be free to choose how we want to feel and where we allow other people to be free to choose how they want to feel.  And let it be enough (for us and our fuel) that we very well may have started it!  That’s exciting!  That we do have influence over our family’s feeling-tone, that we do have a palpable impact on our husband’s and children’s moods!  It matters what we choose for ourselves because it’s catchy!  And we can enjoy being in their presence without trying to take from them what we already have for ourselves!  We don’t have to be greedy about it!  We are free from that kind of living.  We don’t have to perpetuate what we endured as a child (or at other times of our life if we have had experiences with other people treating us in narcissistic ways).  We can do things differently and better!  We can give our loved ones the gift of no-strings-attached happiness!  Now that’s power!