All Feelings Welcome :: Release the Desire to 'Make' People Happy

Make Mommy Happy this Holiday Season!!!


I was in the grocery store last night when I overheard a Father say to his maybe three year old son, “Come on son, make mommy happy, don’t do that”.  Now this wasn’t a comment about bringing home some chocolate or flowers but rather a comment about modifying behavior in an attempt to make his, visibly grumpy, mother happy. 


I totally get that our children have an uncanny way of pushing our buttons.  They are our very best teachers in life; they hold the mirror for us better than anyone else.  It’s in the thick of it that we’re all learning about who we are, there’s no way to fully prepare for this before our children are born, it’s in the dynamic of our spirits doing a bit of tango that ‘our stuff’ emerges.  It’s right in the here and now of parenting that we are given this, sometimes painful, opportunity to grow, to learn, to evolve.  It’s up to us if we seize the opportunity or shun it.


Behavior is simply our best attempt to meet our needs.  However we decide to make meaning of our children’s unique way of communicating their needs, it is never their responsibility to ‘make us happy’.  It’s not even possible to ‘make’ another person happy.


Our happiness is our responsibility!


All of our feelings have a rightful place in our lives, none are “good” or “bad” they just are.  When we listen to what emotion is moving through us, a great deal of wisdom is available. Once we begin to listen this insight is a powerful guide to living our lives more fully and ultimately with more joy.


When I really let this life lesson sink in, things changed in many ways:


~First, I began taking responsibility for my own happiness. 


~I began releasing the need to unload all my petty grievances (complaining) on others.


~I began shifting my inner dialogue from complaint to gratitude – becoming very mindful of the language I used with others and myself.


~Literally, the way I saw life changed like I put a new set of glasses on.


~I began to feel so much more freedom to make my life exactly what I desired, I felt free to live and create.


~ I also set my loved ones free!  They are free to have their experience of life, and they’re not responsible for my experience.


Whoa! It’s really good.


So, we could do backflips and buy diamond rings, hire a circus show, or fly to a fancy resort, or convince our toddler to stop fussing, but we can’t actually ‘make’ another person happy.


Most of us, especially women, have been conditioned to try to be people pleasers; to modify our selves to suit others.  As we enter this holiday season and the New Year, let’s keep a watchful eye on how we begin showing up in an attempt to please others.  Perhaps we expect our children to display particular social skills or dinner manners and feel some internal conflict or worry that they won’t.  Maybe there’s underlying concern that if our children don’t show up as expected that it might make a relative uncomfortable, and also be a bad reflection of your parenting.  Maybe we are caught up in trying to please everyone through the gifting process or through the just-right holiday baked goods. 


I propose we stop and really ask ourselves: what about this pattern is healthy and worth modeling for our children?  How would you really love to celebrate without trying to ‘make’ anyone, anything?  How can we live fully and from our own generous hearts simply because it makes us happy to do so?


Be well.  Be happy. Live free!