Reading Journey 3: The Boys by Katie Hafner

Hello, fellow bookworm! Today I'm going to share with you updates on the book that I am reading, The Boys by Katie Hafner.  It's about an introverted man Ethan who fell in love with Barb, an extroverted woman. They thought that they complemented each other but it turns out their differences drove them apart.  In the beginning, Ethan left the most impression on me because of his introvertedness to which I could relate. His sad childhood made me identify with him more. When he met Barb, it's so nice seeing he's opening up to new experiences. Barb was his total opposite. She loved to explore the world.  They got married, went to an amazing escapade in Italy, but when they fostered twin boys, their relationship became wobbly. It was aggravated by the pandemic when people globally literally stayed and worked from home. This part made the story realistic as I also experienced staying at home, social distancing, and the wearing of the mask and plastic face shield.  The strain

Book Review: You Were Not Born To Suffer


    Many books have already been written about suffering. Suffering comes in different forms: emotional, psychological, and physical suffering, but the one thing that I am most interested in is psychological or mental suffering. After reading Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now which explains why we suffer and how to alleviate the pain of suffering, I got hooked on this type of book. When I saw You Were Not Born to Suffer,  I was caught by its title that bespeaks a truth about me. However,  I found most of the contents nothing new, but still, it was a good read for me.

    The book starts with an explanation of why we are no different from butterflies. The cocoon that the caterpillar makes symbolizes our struggles. In other words, we need to struggle to become the best version of ourselves like the beautiful butterfly that emerges from its cocoon, free and flourishing. This image will remind me of this book always.

   Reading further, the author talks about suffering, love, authenticity, healing the inner child, ego, life purpose, breathing, forgiveness, fear, and feeling alive and well. 

One of the things I appreciate is the list of things that come with our purpose in life. Some of  them are:

1. Enjoying each day as much as possible in healthy ways, rather than self-destructive ones.

2. You also have to purge or heal all the emotions stored in your body from the past; like guilt, insecurity, fear, shame, anger, hurt, and sadness.

3. To create whatever you feel like from the love, truth, and inspiration you feel, whether this is art, a home, a business, a family, cooking or events. Here there is no right or wrong. No good or bad. No better than or less than. It’s simply what you want and what makes you come alive.

    I finally found the words that will guide me each day to align with my true self. When my past hurt or pain visits my body, I let it be and read the list to remind me of the things that are more important. It's like being guided by a lighthouse to a safe harbor on a dark, stormy night. 

    What is more, the questions and affirmations at the end of every chapter added value to the time I spent reading the book. These parts of the book helped me internalize the things I've learned.

    I recommend this book to those who have just started to read about suffering and awakening.

Discussion Questions

  1. What came to your mind when you read the title of the book?
  2. What is the most valuable lesson you've learned from this book?
  3. What do your struggles in life mean to you?
  4. Did this book change the way you look at suffering? How?
  5. Describe an authentic life.
  6. How helpful are the reflective questions and affirmations?
  7. What are the things that you need to work on in your life right now? Has the book given ways on how to deal with them?

Book Information

Title: You Were Not Born To Suffer
ASIN: B01M17O80G
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Watkins Publishing; Updated, Revised edition (March 21, 2017)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ March 21, 2017
Print length ‏ : ‎ 294 pages