Customer Reviews: Everything Happens for a Reason: Finding the True Meaning of the Events in Our Lives
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on August 9, 2004
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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on October 5, 2004
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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on March 22, 2005
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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on November 27, 2014
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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on June 29, 2005
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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on August 19, 2005
This book gave me the conviction that everything really happens for a reason. There is no such thing as coincidence. It was hard for me to digest the truth but it is what it is. I was married for 11 years and during that time, I was living a life of lies and pretention. I was abused physically, verbally and worse mentally. I was told that I was nothing and would never become anything if I left. When I was ready, I left and I became strong, confident and independent. So what had happened to me was supposed to happen in order for me to become strong, confident, independent and a better person. I am still struggling with some other things but overall I found the real ME. The diagnostic questions truly help one understands and accepts life's realities. I urge everyone to read this book.

Reader from Connecticut
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on December 15, 2005
Here are Kirshenbaum's "reasons" for which "everything" happens, as listed in her table of contents:

1. To help you feel at home in the world

2. To help you totally accept yourself

3. To show you that you can let go of fear

4. To bring you to the place where you can feel forgiveness

5. To help you uncover your true hidden talent

6. To give you what you need to find true love

7. To help you be come stronger

8. To help you discover the play in life

9. To show you how to live with a sense of mission

10. To help you become a truly good person.

Kirshenbaum asserts that these are the only reasons for which everything happens, and yes, there are exactly ten, no more, no less. I was hoping for a book which profoundly, thoughtfully explores the suffering, both personal and colletive, which so thorougly plagues our world.

Her advice, based on the premise that all things that happen to us comprise a sort of "cosmic kindergarten," is helpful with dealing with personal setbacks--although I highly doubt this would be the case for those diagnosed with terminal cancer. I imagine Kirshenbaum is an excellent counseler.

But what about other things that happen in our world: the Holocaust, 9/11, The recent Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the plane crash this week in Nigeria which took the lives of hundreds of children, the thousands of children dying from cancer, the devastation of African peoples by AIDS...

Do any of these events POSSIBLY happen for any of the above "reasons"? Are they too part of her "cosmic kindergarten"? If not, her title--and whole book--is very misleading.

I believe that God does work all things together for those who love the Lord, but this is a much different thing from believing that all things happen for the above ten reasons. It's imperative to maintain faith and hope in all circumstances, and by nature, we continually search for a meaning in the difficult events in our lives, but to connect any of the above disasters with her "reasons"--all of which involve personal growth--would be absurd.

This is a very western, egocentric way of thinking; that everything happens so that we might grow personally.

For a much better, more thoughtful book, try Peter Kreeft's MAKING SENSE OUT OF SUFFERING. Or C.S. Lewis's A GRIEF OBSERVED. Or for personal struggles, give Martha Beck a try; she is a very fun, intelligent writer who has also dealt with personal tragedies but has marvelous insights and deep wisdom.
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on January 9, 2006
After finishing "The Emotional Energy Factor", I have begun reading "Everything Happens for a Reason, Finding True Meaning of the Events in Our Lives" and I love it! Books are like best friends only sometimes even better and "Everything Happens for a Reason" is one of these books. I carry this book everywhere with me and it gives me great comfort and hope. Treat yourself or someone you care about to this book. I am grateful to start the New Year with more tips, insights and tools from Mira!!!!!!!

I have combined the wisdom of "Everything Happens for a Reason" with the "Emotional Energy Factor" and I feel like I received "spiritual soul food". There are experiences in life that make you feel like you might implode - destruct and give up. Mira gives you the tools for your spiritual tool box to stop from giving up on your life and find meaning. Grief and anger don't have to overwhelm you and shut you down; changing perspective and focus can help you to find energy to move own and take constructive action. When we are hurt and we feel unsafe we want to blame. Mira points out "Blame kills love".

I have never felt confident or hopeful about my future and Mira articulates this painful feeling in her book as well as the ache of not feeling I have a place in this world. When I took motorcycle lessons the first spiritual lesson I learned was look up! You can't look down or in the wrong direction because if you do that is where the motorcycle will go and the same for your life. Mira explains even in the darkest incomprehensible pain -- given time and thought -- meaning and a positive direction -- life affirming action can be taken.

Mira Kirshenbaum's books are simple reading but there is so much meaning and thought in her words and they can make a difference in our lives and the world. I feel better emotionally and spiritually thanks to Mira. There are lots of spiritual vitamins here and you will feel empowered and hopeful!
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on July 16, 2012
Everything happens for a reason... yeah right... or so I believed...
Posted on July 16, 2012

Everything happens for a reason. Yeah right! Or so I believed.

For many years it has been impossible for me to wrap my mind around this saying. I've been on a never-ending quest of WHY. A quest that finally ended just a few days ago when I started reading a book titled - Everything happens for a reason (finding the true meaning of the events in our lives) by Mira Kirshenbaum. Thanks to this amazing book, I now know without a shadow of a doubt why the horrific catalyst of events that happened and forever altered my life and the way I see life, had to happen. For so many years I stayed rooted in the story of my past - why? why? why? I'd ask repeated. Why did this happen to me? Why was I betrayed by so many pivotal people, family members and the born again Christian church I lived my life for? People who loved money far more than they ever loved me. Why did I lose my family, life style, faith all in one powerful swoop?

As I started reading this book and asking myself the series of simple questions in it, things became blindingly clear. These events had to happen in order for me to become the woman I am today. The story I live today is far different from when these events happened. This book made me realize I've actually made a pretty darn good life for myself. For the first time in my life, at the age of 51, I actually love myself. I believe in myself. I finally know that my beliefs, wants, needs, passions, voice to be heard - MATTER!

I have to confess that up until I was badly assaulted in 2010, while in the performance of my job as a paramedic, I wallowed in my past story and I had the self-esteem of a rock. I was someone who didn't feel like I mattered. I had no voice. I took on the beliefs, wants, needs of others because they told me I should. I was not equipped than to really see the truth - that I do matter as does everyone else in this world. No one of us is better than the other. No one of us should ever push our beliefs or wants or needs on another person. Whether we realize it or not our actions and words have profound effects on people in our lives.

It took the assault, the trial (facing my assailant) and going into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, for me to finally wake up and start figuring out me. I now realize that I have been on the most amazing journey. A journey not to the center of the earth - but to the center of Laura J. Kendall. A journey certainly not over. I still have times where I slip back to the old me - the old way of thinking, but now with my lessons learned and the meanings I have gotten from this book, I can pick up the oar and row my ass right out of the old- why me- lagoon and into fresh, clear, clean water of thinking.

I have been feeling this for a while now, but couldn't put it into words or true action.This book finally made it clear to me that all I have been through in life had to happen and was to help me become free of all the old manipulations, control and guilt induced living and to go on this journey of discovering what I want. Who I want to become. What my needs are. To grow my self-esteem. To know that without a shadow of a doubt I can now allow true friendship and romantic love into my life - without losing me. I am strong enough now to retain my beliefs. To say what I want or don't want. To love fully without losing my essence.

I also know that I will only allow real into my life. I am never going to accept the fluff of fake friendship, love, words, beliefs into my life ever again. Enough is enough. No more dream squashers will ever be allowed to have a place in my head or life.

I want you to know that I believe in you. That if you've never heard this before said out loud - your feelings, your wants, your needs, your beliefs MATTER - just as much as anyone else. What has happened in your life that you are hurting over? What has made you doubt yourself and be less than the magnificent, beautiful, amazing, kick ass person you really are inside?

So my challenge to you - to anyone who is hurting as badly as I was and wondering what the hell am I here for? Why did this have to happen to me? What is the purpose of my life? Go get this book and read it and do the simple thought-provoking questions. I hope when you are done you will see as I did that everything in your life has been for a purpose - the purpose of become a more authentic you. Mira Kirsenbaum I thank you for this beautiful gift of finally having my answers to WHY.

Have a magical day everyone. Enjoy your life (yup this is the next adventure for me - I have no idea how to have real fun)- and know that everything that has happened to you or will happen to us is for a reason - the reason of becoming a more authentic, strong, amazing U! [...]
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on October 2, 2005
Mira Kirshenbaum does an excellent job helping us to see the meanings in life's most painful events. Child of Holocaust survivors and raised in a Displaced Person's camp, Kirshenbaum grew up seeing people who survived life's worst catastrophes. She became a Psychotherapist and spent a lifetime helping others and trying to understand how individuals could survive, grow, mature, and become better people after events that might have destroyed others.

Her clinical research taught her that the pain in life occurs for at least one of only ten reasons. The book is an exploration of those reasons and a guide in understanding how they fit into our lives.

As a former "hard headed realist" like Kirshenbaum, I came to understand those meanings; and the book changed my life in some very important ways. I highly recommend this excellent work for anyone searching for reasons to go on after major losses in life.
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