A Little Happier: Accept a Gift in the Spirit in Which It’s Offered. (Easier Said Than Done.)

In my books The Happiness Project, and on my blog, I’ve written about the fact that my spiritual master is St. Therese of Lisieux, which I learned after reading her spiritual memoir Story of a Soul.

I’ve always been very struck by St. Therese’s discussion about getting gifts. She emphasizes that we should accept a gift in the spirit in which it’s offered — and also admits why, even for her (a saint!), this is difficult.

This is the line I especially love: “for the love of God and my Sisters (so charitable toward me) I take care to appear happy and especially to be so.”

If you’d like to watch a short video of me talking about the happiness resolution of “Imitate your spiritual master,” it’s here:

Check out Yogi Tea. When it comes to enjoying life, little moments — like drinking a delicious cup of tea — can make a big difference.

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Happier listening!

  • Donna

    Theresa is my patron saint. I chose her because she happily suffered and her faith comforted her. I confess I have not studied her or turn to her but it sounds like a good idea. My sister recently sent me a fake fur throw for my birthday. We don’t exchange and I like that but she felt it was a special birthday with a zero at the end. I don’t like girly items and pretty much hate the throw. My sister even said she knew I don’t like fur but should. She loves her throw. In thanking her I said I would try it. It is in my bedroom at the ready. It annoys me because it is ugly, heavy and just not me. There is this thing in my room. It is comforting to remember the spirit in which it was given – something to keep me warm in the long winter. I will try it.