Give Yourself The Gift Of
Happiness This Christmas
By Jacquie Wise
As we enter into a season that’s supposed to be about joyfulness and love, give yourself the gift of joyfulness. One of the fundamental human needs is to be happy, yet happiness so often eludes us. Here’s a game you can play that, if it becomes a habit, can show you the way to happiness. IF you make it a habit.
Where I started
There was a time in my life when I was deeply depressed, frightened, overwhelmed…you name it. Not a pleasant situation to be in, to say the least. No help was available. The therapists I was dealing with were not supportive or constructive. This was back in the early ‘70s, when perhaps therapy had not evolved to the standards we have today.
I was in a foreign country with no friends or family I could rely on. I subsequently found out, when I reached out to family, that they weren’t people I could depend on anyway, which dug me deeper into my helplessness.
I realised it was all up to me to get me out of this pickle. But how? In the state I was in at the time, I had little clarity and even less strength. I knew I was becoming bitter, cynical, angry—but I didn’t know how to stop it.
How we are guided
An idea floated to the surface of the mess in my mind. By the way, that’s how inspiration from your spirit guides, or whatever higher power you might consider exists, often comes.
I recalled a children’s book called Pollyanna. This is the story of a 12-year-old orphan in mid-west America. In the orphanage, the only Christmas gifts the kids received were everyone else’s cast-offs, which arrived in huge sacks dumped at the orphanage. Kids would rush to the sack to get whatever they could, broken or not. They would then trade with another kid to get a gift they preferred.
One day, Pollyanna got to the sack a bit late. There was nothing left but a pair of crutches.
Of course she was disheartened. No Christmas present this year.
From what I recalled of the story, the fellow who ran the orphanage said to her: ‘You can be glad you don’t need the crutches. That’s your gift.’ (Something like that, anyway.)
Pollyanna developed what she called ‘The Glad Game’. If the sun shines, you can be glad you can go out and play. If it rains, you can be glad you have a chance to curl up and read your book.
I decided to pinch the idea and play my own Glad Game. Whatever was going on in my life, I determined to find things to be glad about. I had fallen in a deep hole—I could be glad I had a chance to evaluate my life. If I had no one to depend on, I could be glad I was learning independence. I could be glad for every little way I found to improve things, just for today. Just for now.
Looking back, I’m glad for what happened. I was in the worst place, let me tell you, and it lasted longer than I expected, but—
- I’m glad my experiences have forced me to develop many inner strengths.
- I’m glad I have developed strategies that helped me through tough times and that I can now use to help others.
- I’m glad my crisis ended up giving me a new profession of psychotherapist.
- I’m glad I’ve been able to influence thousands of people and have found the purpose behind my crisis.
- I’m glad my washing machine overflowed because it made me clean the floor!
- I’m glad for every friend, every movie I see, every little experience.
How can you be unhappy, when you find something to be glad about, every moment by little moment?
The important part of this philosophy is to realise we have a choice.
We can be gloomy or positive. We can retreat into a funk or pull ourselves out of it. Nobody’s saying it’s easy, least of all me, but we do have a choice. Yes or no. Yes I will try, no I’ll sit and feel sorry for myself.
That’s where happiness lies. In all the little moments we can appreciate, instead of focusing on what we don’t have. And it’s in the little things, little moments, not big circumstances.
So, as we enter into a season that’s supposed to be about joyfulness and love, find ways to give yourself the gift of joyfulness and love. It takes practice. Start now and by the end of the year, in just one month, you’ll be amazed at how happy you can make yourself.
How to give yourself the gifts you really want
Start loving yourself. How? It’s not about buying presents. It’s about being gentle and kind to yourself. Treat yourself as you would a person you love. That’s the best way to attract love into your life anyway.
Stop criticisms that are not constructive. No insults or self-deprecation. Stop other people from taking advantage or abusing you.
Look after yourself as you would someone you love. Take rests when you need to, eat well, pamper yourself when you feel like it.
Play the Glad Game.
And have a very happy new year.
If you’d like to find ways to be happier, please contact me directly to arrange a convenient appointment time.
I’d love to know what you think of what I’ve said here. You can give me your feedback, ask a question by email or post a comment below.
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Reproducing and Sharing
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