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Everything Happens for a Reason: Finding the True Meaning of the Events in Our Lives Hardcover – August 3, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Mira Kirshenbaum is a wise and seasoned guide, her book a welcome map of the difficult terrain of life.” —Dr. Dorothy Firman, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter Soul

“In a loving universe everything does happen for a reason, and in Mira Kirshenbaum’s book we are persuaded that the universe always has our best interests at heart—even in our darkest moments.”—Gavin de Becker, bestselling author of The Gift of Fear

“Brilliant, beautiful, and bound to make a profound difference in all of our lives.” —Debra Waterhouse, M.P.H., R.D.,bestselling author of Outsmarting Female Fatigue

“One of life’s wonderful surprises. Insightful, wise, and warm.” —Mary J. Shomon, bestselling author of Living Well with Hypothyroidism --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; First Edition edition (August 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400051088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400051083
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,400,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I recently purchased Mira's Kirshenbaum's new book "Everything Happens For A reason" and I found this book to be very inspiration and most beneficial. As a woman that has had much adversity in my life over these past few years, the author encouraged, that even through the worst of times, growth and peacefulness will emerge if we are open to trust in ourselves and the fact that everything does happen for a reason. As a mother that lost her only child 4 years ago to leukemia at the age of 10, I could not believe at the time, that any positives could ever come from one of the most devastating experience any parent could ever imagine. The truth is...they have....through my grief work I have grown in ways I never would have ever explored, had I not going through this experience I have had to endure. This book brought me a peacefullness in knowing that the twist and turns in our lifetime do have reason, that they help us to find true authenticity of self and to help direct us back on course to find the true meaning of our life here on this earth. The author knows first hand about adversity losing many loved ones of her own during the holcaust. Through her sharing in this book of her first hand experience with adversity in her own life, I felt that she truly could relate and understand my struggles as well. For anyone that has gone through a deep loss, whether it be a death of a loved one, illness or divorce this book is a wonderful resource to assit you with your healing. I highly recommend this book!

Lin from NH
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Format: Hardcover
I think this could be the best book I ever read. It made me feel so inspired!! It's so exciting -- that my life has meaning, everything that's ever happened to me, good and bad. I just love the idea that the universe is a safe, nurturing place for me, that the events of me life are all trying to help me become the real me. But there are also so many great stories, so this was not just inspiring but was a totally fun read. Do a favor for everyone you love and buy the a copy of this wonderful book. Just looking at the cover makes me happy!
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Format: Hardcover
When I'm given a book with a title like Everything Happens For a Reason, I sit up and take notice, as that statement has always been a part of my own belief system. Clients continue to fill my days with the very question "Why did this have to happen to me?", so a book with the subtitle of Finding the True Meaning of the Events in Our Lives was intriguing. The author, Mira Kirshenbaum, sounds like a sensitive psychotherapist and has written several other bestsellers with equally interesting titles: Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay; The Gift of a Year; and Women & Love. In her new book, Kirshenbaum strives to bring meaning and comfort into everything that we experience, especially our tragedies. Not a small undertaking in my opinion.

Kirshenbaum's work represents years of statistical and (as she calls it) seat-of-the-pants analysis in which she strove to find patterns that would represent ten different universal meanings that would explain all the events in our lives. I love a good system that attempts to simplify. She allots a chapter to each of the ten, fleshing them out with explanations, examples and often questions that familiarize one with the principle. I admit I was at a loss to find an event in my own life that did not fit into one or another of her principles. Take a look at a few of them yourself and you'll see what I mean. Reason Three: to show you that you can let go of your fear; Reason Five: to help you uncover your true hidden talent; Reason Eight: to help you discover the play in life; Reason Ten: to help you become a truly good person. If Kirshenbaum's explanations give you a sense of meaning and comfort, they have served its purpose completely, for being able to recognize, understand and accept the conditions in our life is the only way we can ever truly embrace it.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book! Get it - Read it - and surrender to the blessing that everything happens for a reason. Each page is a brilliant support for living with meaning and purpose. The concepts are well organized and the message is clear and soothing. This book is a true celebration of being human. Each chapter shines a light on the path of discovering the treasures of our life experiences. I will certainly return to this book again and again... especially when I need encouragement to move forward with my dreams.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At the outset, if you are agnostic or atheist, there are many God references. If you are a believer, you may disagree with her version of God.

There is a reason you ought never to say to someone who has endured a loss that "everything happens for a reason." Often it doesn't, at least not for any reason related to the victim. It is not good to personalize every bad event in our lives, and this is exactly what the author would lead the reader to do.

By positing that all misfortunes are brought to us by some "cosmic kindergarten" to teach us one of only 10 possible lessons, we are being told a simplified and twisted story. Not to say that we cannot ultimately create meaning out of our losses, which is what the author intends to say. But with courage, hope, the will not to give in to the bad, and with some guidance, there are many possible lessons we can get from a loss, there is no limit of ten.

Lastly, the book completely omits discussing the all-important grieving phase essential to process and deal successfully with loss.

I very much wanted to like the book, and I certainly think the author means well, but after reading it I cannot enthusiastically recommend it.

I found these books helpful:

Transcending Loss, Prend
Necessary Losses, Viorst
When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Kushner
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