Written by Holocaust survivor Edith Eger.
This is simply one of the most powerful books I have ever read! I will keep this book forever and will return to it repeatedly. Edith is one of the most inspirational people I have come across.
It may seem at first that this is an unusual book to review on a website about supporting and caring for those with Mental Health needs, but for me it applies directly. It helps us recognise our own power and our own strength.
When faced with the initial subject matter it is easy to think this book could be a depressive and upsetting read, nothing could be further from the truth. This book contains stories of the Holocaust but it’s not about the Holocaust per say, it’s a guide from victimisation to empowerment. It’s about healing and it about our Identity not being about what is done to us.
For me the theme throughout is “choice”. We all can choose how we respond to something, no matter how difficult it becomes.
Edith followed her own journey to become a pioneer in Psychology so she could help those who have suffered trauma, recover.
“Our painful experiences aren’t a liability – they are a gift. They give us perspective and meaning, an opportunity to find our unique purpose and our strength” Edith Eger, The Choice
I can’t recall why I was drawn to this book, or even when I purchased it, it’s almost like it just appeared on my bookshelf, I believe the universe directed me too it and I am very grateful it did. This is a life changing book. Oprah said when interviewing Edith on Super Soul Sunday;
“It’s impossible to read and not be forever changed by it”
I read it with such gratitude that Edith has shared more than her story, she has shared her strength and her peace. Most of all she has shared that we can all make choices and the power of that choice.
Towards the end of the book Edith shares the journey of some of her patients and how they overcome their trauma.
By the end of the book I felt empowered to be the person I want to be and to chose to have truth in my relationships. I recognise that to hide what I feel, to hide my pain is to only deepen my pain. We must use our pain to help us heal.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the book where Edith shares her wishes for those who spat at her and hated her during time in Auschwitz.
“I wish for the boy who spits at us to one day see that he doesn’t have to hate. In my revenge fantasy, the boy who yells at us now – “Dirty Jew! Vermin!” – holds out a bouquet of roses. “now I know”, he says, “there’s no reason to hate you. No reason at all” We embrace in mutual absolution” Edith Eger, The Choice
You can read more about “The Choice” or purchase the book here.