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Book Recommendations

A Short Course in Happiness After Loss by Dr. Maria Sirois

January 2022
— Reading Time: 1 minute

A Short Course in Happiness after Loss by Dr. Maria Sirois is breathtaking. If you were to look at the title of this book only to move on because you were not currently experiencing loss in your life, you would have missed out on luminous writing and wisdom that informs our lives, no matter what our circumstances. The sub-title adds a dimension, (and other dark, difficult times) which reflects this broader scope.

If you are struggling with life’s messiness, its often-chaotic randomness, Sirois writes, ‘‘There is no life in which happiness and suffering exist separate from the other”. You personally, are not targeted; happiness and suffering co-exist for everyone. She continues with three powerful messages:

  1. Good things don’t protect us from bad things.
  2. Bad things happen randomly.
  3. Though we have little control over the frequency and intensity of sorrow in our lives, we do have control over one essential thing: ourselves, and how we respond to the unpredictability of our one tender life.

Such authority, and such gentleness of tone, invites us to detach from the ‘attraction’ of victimhood and focus on our choice of attitude. She reinforces her message with the incomparable words of Viktor Frankl, “Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude”.

There is so much more within the covers of this book to savour. Here at my manifesto, for instance, these words uplift us: “the happier among us share an openness to what is possible, a willingness to consider, if only now and then, that at any moment wondrous, ineffable surprises occur”. We find the sense of hope that this provides, astounding.

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