Finding happiness in the face of adversity

Personal Stories | April 21, 2023 | Sarah Dobec

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A photo of a dandelion in seed with the wind blowing the seeds away

On September 13, 2013, Jack* was admitted to hospital with a brain tumour which – according to the surgeon – was the largest he had operated on to date. The removal of the tumour caused several cognitive impairments including 50% vision loss and the doctors said his chances of survival were limited. 

“One of my first reactions was to ask, ‘Why me?’ as most people do when their abilities change overnight, but with time there was a shift, and I chose to focus more on happiness.” 

Over the past ten years, Jack’s focus on happiness and a search for a deeper truth motivated him to write a book and provide coaching and presentations to help people understand and follow their heart-based intuition. 

“For many of us, life has been quite challenging. I share my message of deep inquiry which started as a kid until now. That inner yearning to really find out what life was all about. I needed to know the truth. My purpose is to share what I have learned with the time I have.” 

While Jack’s initial surgery was very successful, there are expected side effects that he is beginning to experience. 

“My memory is deteriorating, and I live with certain discomforts and pain. While I love life, I find comfort in knowing that, if I need it, I can apply for an assisted death. There are some predictable side effects of my cancer and conditions that I will want to avoid, should my conditions get worse.” 

Jack’s is a story of finding pure awareness in the face of adversity. He helps others find meaning in a world full of uncertainty, and through his own personal journey he is able to remind us to embrace life, but also reflect on death. 

“We have to be willing to be vulnerable, and honest with ourselves to embrace both life and death; it takes effort but it’s worth it.” 

* Jack’s name was changed for reasons of anonymity

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