Today’s conversation will stop you in your tracks. It’s powerful, confronting and challenging and I am so grateful for my guest’s honesty, empathy and willingness to share the wisdom of her 93 years. Dr Edith Eger is a Holocaust survivor, psychologist and expert in the treatment of post-traumatic stress but above all, she’s an incredible human being with an extraordinary story to share. Her latest book, The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life, is quite simply a phenomenal read and in my view a must-read for all of us.
As a Jew living in Eastern Europe under Nazi occupation, Edith was taken to Auschwitz concentration camp with her parents and sister, at the age of 16. She explains how she found her inner resources, how she came to view her guards as the real prisoners, turn hate into pity and, incredibly, she even describes her horrific experience as ‘an opportunity’. She has liberated herself from the prison of her past through forgiveness.
I’m acutely aware that for many of us listening, myself included, it’s hard to put our own problems alongside anything Edith has faced. Which makes her teaching that, ‘There’s no hierarchy in trauma’ all the more beautiful. Edith is not here to make us put our own suffering into perspective and overcome it. Rather, she explains, we can learn to come to terms with pain, reframe it and become stronger.
We cover so many different topics in this conversation, from parenting and relationship wisdom to insights on semantics and depression. Edith’s message to us is that we can change the thoughts and behaviours that are keeping us imprisoned in the past. I felt grateful and humbled to have had the opportunity to speak to Edith and the conversation really changed me. I hope you get as much out of it as I did.
Show notes available at https://drchatterjee.com/144
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