Does your happiness depend on anyone but you?

Happiness comes from within, regardless of what the others around you do.

by Irene Conlan — 

While reading The Astonishing Power of Emotions by Esther and Jerry Hicks, I came across a sentence that struck me in the head like a two-by-four. It read: “Asking others to change so you can feel better never works.”

This was shortly followed by: “It is our absolute knowing that if you believe that your happiness depends upon your ability to control the behavior of any other, you will never find happiness — for control of others is not possible.”

Everyone should not only read those two sentences carefully, but also sit with them in meditation until the meaning sinks in. I don’t usually speak in “everyone” and “should” terms but this is a powerful teaching, and each of us needs to assimilate it and make it a part of our belief systems. If I did ____, I would be much happier and so would all of those around me.

We probably all know a control freak or two. And it is likely that we, ourselves, have exhibited the characteristics of a control freak now and then, especially with our spouses and/or our children. Have you ever heard yourself think or say something like the following or have you had it said to you? “If only he/she would ____, then I would feel better and be happy.”

These might include: If only she would stop nagging; if only he would help around the house; if only he would pay more attention to the children; if only he would be home more; if only she would laugh more; if only he would dress better; if only he would stop drinking; if only she would lose weight; if only she would stop spending so much money, etc.

“If only he were just like me” is really what is being said here, but no one can change to please you and still maintain their personal integrity. Nor can you change who you are to please anyone else.

In my years of doing hypnotherapy, a high percentage of people who have come for help wanted to change their parents, children or partner. I’ve had men ask me outright, “If I send my wife to see you, can you hypnotize her to want more sex/lose weight/do everything I tell her to do?” Most women are not quite as direct but do indicate that it is their husbands or parents who are to blame for their current state of unhappiness. I have lost a number of clients when I tried to help them understand that happiness comes from within, regardless of what the others around them do.

Oh, it’s so much easier to blame our parents or our spouses for our troubles and unhappiness than to face it head-on and make the necessary changes in our own thinking, believing and feeling. That’s more like real work.

The question to ask yourself is: “What do I need to do, change or fix about myself to feel better?” So, what can you do, change or fix within yourself in order to know real, genuine, bubbling-up, contagious happiness? You will find that facing this question head-on not only gives you clues as to how to proceed but that you are already touching the edge of real happiness. Go for it.

For the quotes see: Hicks, Esther and Jerry, The Astonishing Power of Emotions: Let Your Feelings Be Your Guide, Hay House, 2007, pp 67-68.


Irene Conlan has a master’s degree in nursing, is a certified hypnotherapist and a certified past-life regression therapist at The PowerZone in Scottsdale, Ariz. or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 3, June/July 2008.

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