Ironically, the first thing that comes out of the mouths of those who compliment your new visible signs of happiness and glow, is about giving credit to the man/woman in your life.

Usually the compliment would go something like this “wow you look amazing” followed by “who’s the man/woman responsible for that glow/smile on your face?”

Yes I know and this for some reason has recently got me thinking as I have myself been receiving compliments about my looks. Be it a new hairstyle, a new dress or simply the smile on my face for some reason it has been linked to a man in my life. Never mind that I exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet, pray, spend time doing the things I absolutely enjoy like reading and listening to music amongst other things. No one sees those as contributing factors to my current state of happiness and peace no, it must be due to a man. Please I am by no means dismissing the fact that I do have a man in my life who absolutely loves me good, I acknowledge that he does indeed play an integral part in my holistic wellbeing.

You see, after years of relying on things and people or circumstances to be happy the best choice I believe I ever did was to take charge and become responsible for my happiness. This of course took a bit of effort in that I had to go back and have a chair moment with myself and just get to know Lerato once again. I asked myself who am I, what are my weaknesses and strengths, what are my love languages and which one of them is my primary love language. I had to determine what it is that matter to me the most and distinguish it to the things that matter the least.

I certainly also had to trace my journey this far to observe any patterns and really inspect those elements that were repetitive especially the ones that had now become a subconscious repetition.
Eventually, I created a list of priorities which was initially prompted by a decision to be happy and to live a fulfilling life. This process was powered by my spiritual life which was fundamentally based on my faith, however there were other factors I had to deal with like the renewal of my mind, yes my pattern of thinking, my belief system. It is by the way very true that wrong believing will lead you to a place of frustration, so whether we like it or not we need to believe right in order to appropriate the positive results that we so desire.

Another segment that needed to be painfully dealt which were my relationships and in this I’m talking everyone I related with in general be it professionally or personally. I had to figure out which of my relationships were healthy and which were working against me, with my findings I then had to make a decision to alter my contact with specific persons according to the nature of our relationship. Outside of these there were activities I knew I use to enjoy doing but had abandoned for a very long time and so I decided to commit to implementing those activities in my life again. I am currently not busy with all of them but I have started with some of them and the rewards have been amazing.

So going back to the question that is &who owns your happiness?” My answer is assertively You; You are responsible for your happiness. Are there people or things that attribute to your happiness? Of course, but none of them should be without your consent or approval. Is it easy? No but as soon as you make the decision, your emotions will have no alternative but to submit to your decision. I have learned that being happy is rather simple but living a simple life is not such an easy exercise, however, I am determined to be consistent and finish my journey strong with my abs tucked in, chin up, high on stilettos. It is really a journey and each morning when I wake up I’m faced with the choice between fear or love and their associates.

Someone once asked how I get it right, doing so much, how do I jugle between my vocations, my role at home and still have time for myself. My answer was and still is, it is only a matter of deciding what my priorities are in life and then go ahead and allocate my time accordingly. I am delighted to have figured out my ingredients to happiness and it’s the most amazing thing really. I share this with you not out of gloating but rather hoping that someone somewhere will read this and be encouraged.

If I can do it then so can you, but no one will do it for you, you must be the boss in this one I’m afraid otherwise you run the risk of delegating a very hot seat of power to another a seat that holds the centre of your life, your sanity, your happiness. Yes it is yours, Own it!