Love is Not Only Blind

Jun 19, 2015 by

“Love is not only blind. It’s also in denial. It’s also stupid. It’s also over-convinced of its ability to conquer all.”

– Aly Indigo


          Before I began The Happiness Experiment, while still mind-numbingly depressed and crying away on the bathroom floor, I was waiting for someone to save me. I used to think that’s what I needed. I used to think somebody else, preferably Prince Charming/my Ted/Hot Bartender (just joking! #notreally), would need to come along and pick me up, because I couldn’t bear my own weight. How I expected one of them to find me while locked up in the bathroom of my apartment was a whole other issue of flawed logic. Of course, we know that’s not how it went. We know that once I decided to get up, I found that I could.

          Truthfully, I’m grateful no one came to my rescue. Because I made myself happy, I own my happiness. I attribute it to me, which means people can come and go from my life without taking it. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over the past couple years is that I don’t need any one person. Absolutely, I need people. We all need people. We need connection. But there is no one person you cannot live without. Believing otherwise places your happiness in someone else’s hand, putting you at risk of dependency and putting the other person under a lot of pressure. Love is a beautiful thing, but it’s not a cure-all. People can love you, but how you view yourself overrides everything. Externally sourced love might be a quick fix to feeling better, but loving yourself makes happiness sustainable.

          On Sunday, coincidently the day after another conversation about work and love and relationships with another group of friends, I was hanging out with a couple girls from pole who arrived at the same topics. In the context of work and people striving for promotion on top of promotion without question, one of the girls – who had just quit a job she hated – pointed out that sometimes we don’t think about why we’re doing what we’re doing.

          “Yes!” I agreed. “I think people sometimes forget that their ultimate point is happiness. Really, that’s why they’re working so hard. They’ve been told that doing so will lead to a happy life. But in forgetting that happiness is what they’re going for, they work hard just because they feel like they should, without thinking about why.”

          As I had been discussing the night before, people often forget to ask themselves if they’re happy. They forget to question if climbing to the top is fulfilling. They fail to remember why they’re doing what they’re doing; and therefore, don’t evaluate whether or not it’s aligned with their happiness. Whether that happiness looks like a secure future or travel or a house doesn’t matter. When you boil down any reason someone gives for doing what they’re doing, they’re doing it because they believe it’ll lead to something that’ll make them happy, even if they forget to measure it’s success. The same concept is applicable to other aspects of life, like love and relationships.

          It’s easy to get comfortable in an unhealthy relationship and use love as the scapegoat. It’s easy to forget to periodically evaluate if a relationship, whether defined by romantic love or friendship love, is conducive to happiness. It’s also easy to attribute too much of your happiness to another person, whether that other person is already there or some figure of your imagination that you’re waiting for. Far more challenging is to fight for yourself. Far more challenging is to ask yourself why. Far more challenging is also far more rewarding.

Happiness Tip: Ask yourself why.

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