Buddhist Soup: Don't blame the mirror for showing you

By Daniel J. Perez, The Daily Colonial, October 18 2007

Washington, USA -- We’re all familiar with the classic idea of a fairy tale romance and no doubt we’ve had our own idealized dreams of the love of our life that will someday sweep us off our feet and provide us with happiness ever after. Of course, we all know on a rational level that this sort of fantasy is just that – a mere fantasy.

Despite this, many of us tend to cling to the idea that true happiness will never come unless we find this ideal someone – whether that be someone to “fall in love” with in the immediate future or an eventual life-long partner.

Longing for that special someone will not get us very far. If anything, we are wasting our time and setting ourselves up for defeat.

Buddha Soup offers a different perspective. First of all, come to realize that you are the only one responsible for your happiness – nobody can give it to you.

It’s likely this is something you inherently already know, yet for some reason you choose to pretend you don’t know – continually looking to other people or material things for satisfaction. So if we already know this why don’t we act like it? Well, like anything else, it is ten times easier to depend on someone else as oppose to doing it ourselves. As kids, we naturally had to depend on our parents to put food on our table and a roof over our heads.

Happiness, on the other hand, was not something our parents could give us (though they can make it easier or more challenging as most of you I’m sure experience). Likewise, our partners cannot give us happiness either, and thinking that way is only setting ourselves up for disappointment.

The truth of the matter is that your happiness is all up to you and there is no way getting around it. Only after you are ready to fully accept this can you find that special someone you’ve been longing for, or find solutions to what itches you about your current relationship. Why is this so? Ever heard of the old saying “you’ve got to love yourself before you can truly love another”? As cliché as it sounds, it is the absolute truth.

The condition of our relationships is always a reflection of ourselves, which means our dependence, insecurities, and fears will all manifest themselves in some way, shape or form to negatively affect our relationship, of lack thereof.

“It is no use to blame the mirror if your face is awry” goes the Buddhist saying. Likewise, if you think that your internal strife will disappear when you find the right partner, you are sadly mistaken. Instead, you may be setting yourself up for an unhealthy relationship, asking for an eventual painful breakup, and creating an even larger void then the one you began with.

Too many of us seem to follow this pattern, which often times leads to depression, poor performance in school, health problems, or just an outright waste of our infinitely beautiful lives. It’s actually quite simple: only after you truly love yourself can you expect healthy love to come back to you through another.

In this way, if you are unhappy about being single or are in a relationship that doesn’t quite meet your needs, Buddha Soup asks you to work on yourself first – from the inside out. Once you can do this, you will finally have the ability to move the hearts of others and find that truly healthy relationship which will only make your already happy life happier.