“You can't make everyone happy. You aren't an avocado.” –Unknown

Today I’m going to offer you a sentence that brings true freedom. Are you ready? You aren’t responsible for anyone else’s happiness but your own. Please take a moment to breathe in and accept that sentence.

I’m aware that it’s a hard one to believe, because we so easily take on the emotions, mistakes, and consequences others face. As a society we have become entrenched in the lives of others, which can be a positive thing due to the connections we develop. There can be drawbacks to living every moment in others’ lives, though.

We may find that when someone is unhappy, we need to ride in like a knight and rescue them. This can ultimately cause us harm. We can get so focused on maintaining someone else’s world that we neglect our own needs whether physical, mental, or emotional. We become emotionally highjacked and spend time living in anger, fear, or sadness that isn’t ours.

We are learning that unhappy times are part of life. I don’t like it either, but I’m also learning that sometimes I can help others feel better but I can’t make them happy. I also can’t expect anyone else to make me happy. Happiness is what we each make of it. I love the quote and its reference to avocados, because while I love guacamole. Yet there are many people I know that can’t stand avocado, not even the color. It’s the perfect example of humor hiding the truth because not even avocados can make everyone happy.

Be your happiness and don’t let anyone convince you to be their knight. Let them rescue themselves and find the happiness that’s waiting for them. We all deserve the chance to fight for ourselves and find the happiness both around us and within us. Don’t expect happiness anywhere but inside you. Be the avocado you want or the ice cream sundae. Be your happiness.

Sarah Deats

Sarah Deats is the Arizona Outpatient Support Services Manager at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer. Her goals are to make a connection with everyone that she can while building community, spreading hope, and sparking change. She believes that while life may not be easy, it is never lived alone.