A person I love very much once told me: ‘if you want to be happy, you need to surround yourself with people who make you feel happy, and eliminate relationships that cause you negative emotions’. At the time I didn’t agree with this person. I believed that suffering for those you care for and sharing their pain was an act of love and affection. For this reason I have often put other’s happiness before my own. Today, after much consideration, I have decided to follow this person’s advice. The ironic element of my decision, is that it is precisely this person, or rather the world he lives in, from which I have decided to distance myself.
I still believe what I did a few years ago: the word relationship, whether it be referred to romance, friendship or family, implies a certain duality and interaction. If this interaction is one sided, it is not a healthy relationship. The world we live in is far from being perfect and I believe that everyone has their issues and their suffering. A relationship occurs when both parties are prepared the take a bit of the edge of the other’s pain, and take a bit of their weight upon their shoulders.
However when this weight becomes unbearable, and comes at the cost of severe personal unhappiness, the relationship is no longer healthy. I do not believe in long term obligations and commitments, or in forcing these to persist against all odds. Helping those we love, and sacrificing other aspects of our lives for them, ought to be an act that in some way makes us happy, and has a cathartic effect on our existence. Seeing the pleasure that our actions cause on another’s face ought to light us up and not drag us down. When our sacrifices put us in a place where we are angry, scared and become more of an obligation than a natural act of kindness, I believe our negative disposition may hinder rather than enforce the relationship, making the other even more unhappy and guilty for making us feel their pain.
Distancing ourselves from these negative environment is perhaps, the only way we can safeguard the relationship. I believe that fear makes us cling to situations we no longer have under control. Forcing relationship changes us, and can lead to anger and envy. Of a painless existence, of easy air to breathe. Today I have decided to recognise the forcefulness of this inauspicious situation and take a step back, not just for myself but for us and everyone involved.