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The Gift: 14 Lessons to Save Your Life

The Gift: 14 Lessons to Save Your Life

by Edith Eva Eger
The Gift: 14 Lessons to Save Your Life

The Gift: 14 Lessons to Save Your Life

by Edith Eva Eger


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“I will be forever changed by Edith Eger’s story.” —Oprah

A practical and inspirational guide to stopping destructive patterns and imprisoning thoughts to find freedom and joy in life—now updated to address the challenges of the pandemic and a world in crisis.

World renowned psychologist and internationally bestselling author, Edith Eger’s, powerful New York Times bestselling book The Choice told the story of her survival in the concentration camps, her escape, healing, and journey to freedom. Readers around the world wrote to tell her how The Choice moved them and inspired them to confront their own past and try to heal their pain. They asked her to write another, more prescriptive book. Eger’s second book, The Gift, expands on her message of healing and provides a hands-on guide that gently encourages readers to change the thoughts and behaviors that may be keeping them imprisoned in the past.

Eger explains that the worst prison she experienced is not the prison that Nazis put her in but the one she created for herself: the prison within her own mind. She describes the most pervasive imprisoning beliefs she has known—including fear, grief, anger, secrets, stress, guilt, shame, and avoidance—and the tools she has discovered to deal with these universal challenges. These lessons are offered through riveting and inspiring stories from her life and the lives of her patients.

This new, revised edition of The Gift contains two new chapters that examine the invaluable insights and lessons Edie learned during the Covid-19 pandemic; a time she used to rediscover freedom even in lockdown and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, including preparing and sharing meals with the ones we love. Edie includes recipes for some of her favorite dishes which have been updated and tested by her daughter Marianne Engle and explains how food can be a deep expression of love and connection.

As readers seek to find joy and some peace in these challenging times, Eger’s wisdom and heartfelt advice is as timely, and timeless, as ever and certain to resonate with Eger’s devoted readers and those who have not yet found her transformational wisdom.

Filled with empathy, insight, and humor, The Gift captures the vulnerability and common challenges we all face and provides encouragement and advice for breaking out of our personal prisons to find healing and greater joy in life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982143091
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 09/15/2020
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 31,854
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Edith Eger is an eminent psychologist and one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors old enough to remember life in the camps. A student of Viktor Frankl, Dr. Edith Eger has worked with veterans, military personnel, and victims of physical and mental trauma. She lives in La Jolla, California, and is the author of the bestselling and award-winning books The Choice and The Gift. Edie and her daughter, Marianne Engle—a renowned psychologist and food writer who helped develop the recipes in The Gift—encourage you to try the delicious dishes in the book and share your thoughts at

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

  • That was then, this is now. Think of a moment in childhood or adolescence when you felt hurt by another’s actions, large or small. Try to think of a specific moment, not a generalized impression of that relationship or time of life. Imagine the moment as though you are reliving it. Pay attention to sensory details—sights, sounds, smells, tastes, physical sensations. Then picture yourself as you are now. See yourself enter the past moment and take your past self by the hand. Guide yourself out of the place where you were hurt, out of the past. Tell yourself, “Here I am. I’m going to take care of you.”
  • In every crisis there is a transition. Write a letter to a person or situation that has caused you pain, recently or in the past. Be specific about what the person did, or about what happened that you didn’t like. Put it all on the table. Say how the actions, words, or events affected you. Then write another letter to the same person or situation—but this time write a thank-you letter, expressing gratitude for what the person has taught you about yourself or how the situation has prompted you to grow. The goal of the thank-you letter is not to pretend to like something you didn’t like, or to force yourself to be happy about something painful. Acknowledge that what happened wasn’t right and that it hurt. And also notice the healing power in shifting your point of view from a powerless victim to who you really are: a survivor, a person of strength.
  • Harness your freedom to. Make a vision board—a visual representation of what you want to create or embrace in your life. Cut out pictures and words from magazines, old calendars, etc.—there are no rules, just see what attracts you. Paste the images and words to a sheet of poster board or a big piece of cardboard. Notice what patterns emerge. (This is a wonderful practice to do together with dear friends—and with plenty of good food!) Keep your vision board close by and look at it every day. Let this intuitive creation be an arrow to follow.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Unlocking Our Mental Prisons 1

Chapter 1 What Now? 11


Chapter 2 No Prozac at Auschwitz 29


Chapter 3 All Other Relationships Will End 51


Chapter 4 One Butt, Two Chairs 71


Chapter 5 No One Rejects You but You 81

Guilt and Shame

Chapter 6 What Didn't Happen 91

Unresolved Grief

Chapter 7 Nothing to Prove 107


Chapter 8 Would You Like to Be Married to You? 121


Chapter 9 Are You Evolving or Revolving? 133

Paralyzing Fear

Chapter 10 The Nazi in You 149


Chapter 11 If I Survive Today, Tomorrow I Will Be Free 163


Chapter 12 There's No Forgiveness Without Rage 177

Not Forgiving

Conclusion: The Gift 189

Acknowledgments 193

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