I used to think it was funny when people called books “lifesavers.” I’d enjoyed many books, but never to the point where they’d actually improved my life in observable ways.
Now, it would probably be fair to say that each book I read changes my life. I read to see through others’ eyes, to learn a fraction of what they’ve learned and to understand the ways they’re reasoning. Each book I read helps my roots grow deeper.
That being said, there are a few books that have changed my life for the much, much better.
The first was Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear. It affirmed that instincts are a powerful force for good, no matter who mocks or belittles them; indeed, those who belittle often have something to gain by another person’s instincts being overridden.
Even more importantly, one of my sisters might not have survived an abusive relationship but for wisdom I gleaned from The Gift of Fear. It gave me the words to communicate my concerns to her. Now, a few years later, she’s not only alive, but kicking (, punching, blocking, and all other things martial arts/boxing).
The second was Rick Hanson’s Just One Thing. A friend recommended it to me about five years ago, suggesting it would help me retrain my brain to be less stressed. Thanks to this book, I learned (1) about the principle of neuroplasticity and (2) how to apply these principles to become less stressed. I’m coming back to this again, having come to understand that destressing isn’t work you do one time and call done. It’s work that must be undertaken ongoing for best results!
The third was It Starts with Food, which taught me how to ease inflammation at a point where I was scarily inflamed. After a couple of months eating as recommended by the book, my bloodwork looked great and I felt great. I ate mostly according to its principles until this time last year, when I became overwhelmed by political readings and lost all equilibrium. I’m getting back into the swing of things now, and am so grateful to know exactly where to fall.
This list will probably grow with time, but for now: These are three books that have changed my life for the better.