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Sharpe-Jefferson: Own Your Happiness

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By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson

As we approach Valentine’s Day on Tuesday Feb. 14, there’s always the temptation to place an expectation on our spouse or significant other to make us happy (at least for that one day). But truly, we shouldn’t place responsibility for our happiness in another’s hands.

We have the power to make choices which foster delight for ourselves, and we shouldn’t give this power to another for one day of our lives. Let me balance this by saying that out of their love for us, it isn’t unreasonable to expect that our significant others should take the opportunity to show us how they feel – even if it means going the extra mile.

Now, it feels great when others lovingly respond in the way we’d expect and show tokens of their appreciation. But if not, I have a simple word of advice: Do something different.

Rather than get upset, blame, accuse or wallow in self-pity, make the decision to get up and go do something you enjoy. You don’t have to wait on another person to experience happiness and fulfillment. Still, we often do we wait for another to validate us or our expectations. Why?

One, it’s what we’ve been taught to do. We’ve seen it modeled at some point and it falls naturally as part of what we expect from others as well.

Second, we’re uncomfortable taking responsibility for our own joy on our terms. The idea of doing something alone that we enjoy sometimes contradicts tradition, but what if utter elation awaits on the other side?

And third, we could very well be fearful thinking about what other people will say.

Still, I encourage you to do something different.

If life has taught us anything these past few years, the message should read loudly to seize every single freakin’ moment. Need some inspiration or ideas?

–Cook yourself a fabulous dinner or dessert.

–Buy yourself one fabulous clothing piece or accessory.

–Visit a museum, shop or destination you’ve never seen inside before.

–Hold an intimate, candle-lit Sip and Sample gathering at your crib for your five closest friends and family.

–Purchase yourself the most luscious pieces of chocolate or chocolate-covered strawberries and indulge during a great movie

My message is simple – stop waiting on someone else in order to be happy. Do something different.

As always, I’m cheering for you and just an email away if you need to chat.

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisasharpe@yahoo.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.