In each of our lives we are faced with events that seem inexplicable, unjust, even cruel—events that can shatter our perception of the world, our understanding of ourselves, and our faith in a higher power. Friends and family members often offer comfort with “Everything happens for a reason”—a simple, common phrase with an unbearably elusive meaning.
In Everything Happens for a Reason, psychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum helps us understand the principles behind this frequently used phrase and provides us with tools to grasp its true meaning. According to Kirshenbaum, there is significance to each of the events in our lives. We all can discover meaning in what has happened to us—seeing such occurrences as gifts, lessons, or opportunities that we might not have been able to get any other way. Building on more than twenty-five years of clinical research, Kirshenbaum has developed tests to help readers decode the confusing or unfortunate events in their lives and find solace and strength in the positive outcomes that exist.
Kirshenbaum offers ten universal reasons for the tragedies in our lives, among them letting go of fear, radically accepting ourselves, becoming a truly good person, finding forgiveness, and discovering our mission.
While coming to terms with unexpected loss and disappointment is never easy, Everything Happens for a Reason empowers readers to embrace the positive and comprehend the specific message that is larger and more powerful than their grief.
If you believe that "everything happens for a reason," you might find solace in this well-written self-help guide by psychotherapist Kirshenbaum (best known for the relationship guide Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay). Her premise is that "that no matter what happens to you, not only does something valuable come out of it but it's just what you need." Kirshenbaum details in separate chapters the 10 possible life lessons one might learn from unhappy life events, ranging from self-acceptance, feeling at home in the world and letting go of fear to finding true love or your hidden talents. Readers answer diagnostic questions to determine which lesson might be theirs. There is also a wealth of advice, such as a seven-step method to overcome fear and a list of the 10 elements of true love. Kirshenbaum is careful to note that what you learn doesn't make up for what you have lost. Still, the case studies always end positively. And some don't ring true: how likely is it that a mother will see the birth of a very sick infant as an opportunity to let go of fear? If you don't believe there is comfort to be found in life's worst events, this book isn't for you. But if you've undergone a tragedy and are desperate to find meaning in it, Kirshenbaum's smooth, comforting tone may give you some direction.