It's really this simple. I'm in control of my own happiness. No one can make me unhappy, no one can make me mad or angry or happy. (Make it easier or more difficult, sure. Not Make.) Just as I can resist being pleased, I can resist whatever feelings form when I see the stupidity, the infuriating, and maliciousness going on around me. I can choose - how to act, what I allow myself to feel. My choice completely. I can become enraged, blame them, throw a fit, lose control. For who will control me? No one can, ultimately. Even the cops can only tie me down, put a spit bag over my head, isolate me, but I can rage and rage.
Or I can shrug, laugh, and cope, and go on being content with my own life. The latter seems much simpler. I can take every gesture of kindness from D, and pick at it, criticize and badger, demanding perfection. Or I can accept that I am loved for myself, find him endearing and generous and kind, and be grateful beyond words to have found a decent human being to live my life with. Hmmmm...
Amazes me how often people make the apparently easier decisions simply because they don't want to look inside themselves for a moment. Breast implants when simply being happy with oneself is more satisfying and less painful and risky. Starving oneself instead of accepting a few age-related pounds. Unhappy with income or health or work or friends... . Change it or don't, but be content as well.
The one reason for a good time machine, I would go back to my young self and say, smile. Not for them, not for the ones who demand a smile, or say "oh, it can't be that bad." Feel free to flip them off. But "don't be distracted, smile for yourself, because it will help you feel better inside." I would tell young me to be cheerful, not because I feel like it, but because acting cheerful will help me feel better. I would tell myself not to blame anyone, including myself, but to relax and enjoy, even the bad stuff, especially the bad stuff, because that is the only way to fight the evil. Yes, it's hard, takes effort and persistence, but it's not difficult, nothing tricky there, takes no special skills. Just the ability to realize that I am the only one with any control over myself.
Just like in grade school, when I knew perfectly well, if the teacher calls for quiet, I have to close my own mouth. If every child did the same, there would be instantaneous silence, every time. Instead, the busy bodies hushed everyone else, and added to the din of the kids who waited to be individually shushed. I knew that then. Saw how it worked in the Army, when the one still talking had to perform push-ups until the Drill got tired. Same principle. They could only make me do push-ups because I agreed to obey their orders, so ultimately - my choice.
Neither the world, nor anyone else, will ever conform to my whims, my wants, or even my needs. If they appear to, it is mere coincidence, which fools many. Manipulators and torturers get surface compliance temporarily, same as any application of punishment. It looks right, but the recoil is primed, no thoughts were changed. Damage done, but not the change of belief intended.
So, I have learned to choose well, because it's all on me.