You make me happy. I used to say those words to my husband on a frequent basis. At that time, if you had asked me what I meant by those four words, I would would have replied that I was saying that I loved him and that I was happy being with him. I meant those words as a compliment, an endearment, an expression of love.
I don’t use those words anymore.
Let me be clear, I am very happy in my current relationship. But he doesn’t make me happy; rather, I am happy with him. Slight change in words, but a huge shift in meaning.
I began to realize that by telling him that he made me happy, I was putting all of the responsibility for my own well-being on his shoulders. That is a huge burden to carry and one that was unfair to him. I had given him the power to make me happy. Which means he also had the power to make me unhappy.
If I had left that power in his hands, he would have packed up my happiness with the rest of his belongings when he walked out the door. I snatched it back from him, determined to find a way to regain ownership of my well-being.
I now take responsibility for my own happiness. I can choose how I respond and how I approach. I can choose to be happy with or happy in spite of. That is my responsibility.
But, coffee still makes me happy:)