Review of Wanting Everything. (Apr 09)

Saturday, 02 April 2011 16:04
Caroline Dexter (posted on Amazon)

I found this a totally liberating book. Rowe begins by showing how our unhappiness is born of the frustration of not getting everything we want, a process which starts as we move on from the newborn state in which all our needs are instantly met. This lack continues to disappoint us throughout life as we continue to make unreasonable demands of life. We then blame life for not giving us what we want, and we become more and more frustrated and bitter. We give the power to an external source - society or the Church, God, parents, or just some abstract power which is beyond us and which we do not even consider we can level with.

She then subtly shows how we can shift the source of power to the centre of ourselves, that power is about defining reality and that we can do this every minute of our lives. With a new perspective we can find new happiness - not just in accepting what we have, although that is a part of it, but in changing what we do not want in our lives. She is big on distinguishing between those things which are really outside of our control and those which we choose to put out of our control. She encourages us to take responsibility for our decisions, thoughts and actions.

It reminds me of a prayer I saw once:

Give me the courage to change the things I can,
the serenity to accept the things I can't,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

This book definitely gave me the courage to change certain things in my life - sarting with my outlook. It has made the world of difference.

Her style is intelligent and engaging, which is a great relief after some of the books I have read recently in this category, which although they may be initially comforting, are really unsound and exploitative - telling you to manifest your own reality by visualising it etc, which in the end, only succeeds in getting people to wish their lives away and buy more self help books.

I have not felt the need to look at any other self-help books since I read this one. Doesn't that say it all?

Heartfelt thanks to Dorothy Rowe!