Recently I saw a number of posts on facebook about “never placing the key for your own happiness in someone else’s pocket.” It went over well. Many related to that quote. I certainly did.
This morning while quietly being open to thoughts over handwashing yesterday’s dishes it occurred to me that equally important to not placing the key to one’s happiness in someone else’s pocket is not permitting anyone else to place the key for their happiness in our pocket.
Maybe it happened a long time ago, and the pattern is well-established. Maybe some are even now sneakily trying to place that key in your pocket. Or, maybe they are outright asking, insisting, or even demanding that you stretch out your hand and take the damn key. “Right now, I said!”
Undeniably, many things have happened and are continuing to happen all the time that can contribute to the experience of unhappiness for one person, many people, and nations. Babies are not always picked up the minute they want to be picked up. People who have not learned how to process their own emotions want to be cared for in the way they want to, or sulkily internalize it only to resurface later in ways that say, “See what you/they did to me?”
This week someone said to me, “ I feel hurt and disappointed by what you did to me.” I’ll spare you the details “ You should not have done _____ to me.” (attempting to place her happiness key in my pocket) Btw, dear facebook friend...that was MY facebook you wrote on, so please excuse me for monitoring my guest comments! Being disrespectfully opinionated (not to mention ignorantly biased on the subject matter in question) on your own wall is up to you. After a comment and then message exchange one thing lead to the other. Facebook friends come and they go. Not getting what she wanted she then came to the unilateral, unsubstantiated conclusion that "we aren't worshiping the same God". (semantics, semantics is more like) Here she not only hastily pulled back her key but also pulled out the "Big Gun". Whoa! Of course it goes without saying - her God is the real one, better than mine who may in fact look more like a devil, and hers can probably soundly whip my god/devil with one hand and both feet tied behind his back. Not to worry...this happens periodically. It wasn't the first time and it most likely won't be the last time based on my current understanding of human nature. It’s a very good thing she closed the door. That way the door didn't catch her heel as it closed. ;-) It has been my experience that that kind of door doesn't lead anywhere nice, anyway. And, I’m sure she will promptly find another pocket into which to place her happiness key. Most likely she will first pull out the "I've been psychologically and spiritually abused, & I need sympathy" card.
If there is something in my pocket that belongs to someone else it uses up the personal energy that I need to be more creative throughout my own day and life.
Carry too many keys and the pocket will sag and ultimately tear. Yep! Tricky business...this being supportive of someone else's life process while not assuming their responsibilities.