We each have a slightly different idea of Christmas, what it means, how it makes us feel etc. But there is one thing that is the same for all of us…
A number of factors will lead us to the feeling of Christmas. I mean, if you went to sleep on November 15th and woke up on Christmas Day I’m betting you wouldn’t feel very Christmassy (apart from the obvious discombobulation!). A set series of experiences will lead you to the eventual feeling.
For some it’s the buying of gifts that makes them ‘feel‘ Christmassy. For others it’s the weather, carol singers, Christmas movies, Christmas songs on the radio or even festive food. For me it’s a combination of all these things. They each add to each other to create a nostalgic, excited state of mind.
So why do I mention this, it’s obvious right?
The point is that ‘any‘ state of mind works the same way. Happy, sad, excited, miserable, disappointed, exhilarated, etc. They all require a set of catalysts: sounds, smells, words, memories, visual cues, physical experiences and so on.
The trick then is to be aware of ‘what‘ cues are creating the feelings you are having. If they are pleasurable feelings then you can actually create them at will by seeking out the cues deliberately. If they are uncomfortable feelings that crop up you can learn to avoid the catalysts that cause them.
Go in to 2017 with a determination to be aware of what is creating the feelings you are having – then decide whether you want more or less of them.
Live more deliberately.
Most people are envious in some way or another of someone else. We love the house they live in or the car they drive or the partner they’re with or the lifestyle they lead yada yada.
Then the guilt button might go on. Often people feel bad for feeling envious. There’s no need. Envy can be a good thing. Envy drives us on to create the same in our lives. Envy can be the fuel you need to reach your goals. Envy can be useful.
Jealousy however is envy’s darker sibling. Jealousy wants what someone else has. Not something the same or similar but actually what they have. Jealousy leads to lies and deceit and resentment. In the worst cases it can lead to hate, anger and crime.
So the next time you want what someone else has consider whether you are being jealous or envious. If it’s the latter, allow that to spur you on to get the same. Use what they have as a model. Even go as far as to ask them how they got what it is you want.
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Do you hold any grudges? Think about that for a moment. A grudge can
lay hidden, sometimes for years. Think for a moment.
If you have found one, think about the person you hold that grudge
against. Notice how you feel as you imagine their face. Feel that hurt
– just for a moment.
Now imagine that person as a child. See them playing, running,
laughing. See them falling and hurting their knee. Imagine you go to
that child and you ease their pain, comfort their tears. You help them
to their feet. You rub their hurt knee.
Imagine they stop crying and return to playing. See if the feelings
you had about that person have changed at all.
There is a small child in every one of us.