April has been a surprisingly rough month. There’s been a lot going on while I’ve been adjusting to my new life back at home. It’s been intense for sure, and I’m surprised by how much I am looking forward to May.
Last month I reviewed The Happiness Project which is deep in parts but I am partial to self-help-therapy-behavioural analysis-personal development books or the classic, where the author goes on a literal and/or spiritual journey.
With this in mind, it’s probably not surprising that my two reading books this month have been therapy based. One of which I’m still reading, the other, I finished.
I’m still working my way through The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck.
So this months review will focus on… The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz.
Initially, I didn’t understand the part about losing and finding ourselves but as the book progressed it became clear to me.
The book has five sections; beginnings, telling lies, loving, changing and leaving and each section looks at a series of cases & examples of people losing themselves. Specifically; why and how. For instance, is there some deep rooted parental issue that we aren’t even aware of?
It offers an explanation to each scenario and they are not so far fetched. They are issues we may come across in our daily lives.
I like the self-therapy aspect as it sort of asks us, the reader, to read the stories and take them in and listen to the solution. I like that the scenarios can be applied to every day life.
Interestingly, the section on lying, (why we do it and what we can learn from it, and to some degree, where that behaviour has come from), was one of the most interesting aspects to me. Each section uses multiple examples to highlight a complex but unique challenge relating to that chapter.
I think figuring out why we behave the way we do, where its come from and how to correct this behaviour – if it’s negative was one of the most interesting aspects.
It discussed things I had never considered like ‘how praise can cause a loss of confidence’, ‘how a fear of loss can cause us to lose everything’ and other examples of people’s relationships.
I guess ultimately, one view of life is that it is a series of relationships. Parental, sibling, friends, lovers, partners. These relationships come in varying intensity, they last different lengths of time and can leave long, lasting, reminders. Some are positive, some are toxic. But every single one is unique.
You might see aspects of yourself in this book – whether it’s you now or you in the past.
It’s quite an inspiring read, and it’s made me want to explore myself on another level, perhaps in a way I haven’t considered before.
That’s why I love this book so much.
You can make of it what you will because each individual will interpret it differently and be interested in different sections depending on their own background and experiences.
If you want to explore therapy – the process, scenarios and outcomes – I’d recommend this book as a good introduction.