A Short Course in Happiness After Loss
And yet, to find the sun that rises in spite of everything -- in other words, to find our way into delight and uplift even as the pains of the world surge -- we must do our best to choose happiness. We must actively choose resilience. We must elect to craft a life that thrives. And it helps to know how to do that. That is what this book is for -- those times, that quest.
The first half of the book offers considerations written from the perspective of loss or from those times when we are shuttered by darkness and strain. They illustrate the significant elements of that territory and address what happens to most of us in the hard moments: what crazy can look like, the myths we carry about “doing it right,” and how awful awful can feel. The second half is written from the frame of happiness: how grounded optimism is gained, what an undefended heart looks like and how heaven appears in the lives we are already living, sometimes with simply the tiniest of evidence.
Each reflection addresses a central theme that stands alone and yet a larger landscape will begin to appear as you read through: there is no life in which happiness and suffering exist separate from the other. The move toward greater happiness is an effort in which we carry evidence of our sufferings, just as each field of wheat or valley of bluebells grows directly upon the debris of what has been. There is no other land but the land that holds both; there is no other life but one in which our joys and our sufferings flow into and from each other.