All We Have Is All We Need – Karen Casey
“Let’s not shy away from our responsibility. Instead, let’s be grateful for the many opportunities to express more peace-filled lives that come our way everyday. It’s through our example that others will be inspired. Then and only then will we see…change…” – From the book

Author Karen Casey has designed her book All We Have is All We Need to encourage small steps towards more peaceful lives. Featuring mostly one and two-sentence statements, Ms. Casey intends to lead readers away from turmoil and chaos, showing individuals how they can apply basic ideas for creating harmony.

Some of the ideas she presents include:

“We get the partners we need for the lessons we have requested. There are no accidents in the way our lives are unfolding. If I can appreciate this today, I will be free from anxiety.”

“We had a hand in selecting the lessons we are experiencing today. Remembering this takes the sting out of the hard ones, doesn’t it?”

“Detaching from the difficulties of others may appear unkind, particularly if their circumstances trouble us, but we must focus on our own journey, not one else’s. Today will allow me to practice this.”

“Nobody ever really wins an argument. Feelings are always hurt. I will refrain from hurting anyone’s feelings today.”

“No disagreement requires resolution. Ever. Accepting our differences is the way to peaceful lives.”

“Not having to win an argument is huge. Why not experience this today?”

“Deciding to be peaceful feeds one’s soul. Arguing one’s position doesn’t. Which will I choose today?”

“As you ponder any thought or action, try to discern what God would have you think or do. Will you adhere to this suggestion today?”

Although the author is well intentioned, I find her tone preachy and condescending. Many of her statements assume a “right” answer, and almost scold, “Which will you choose today?” Not only that, some of her statements are contradictory. For example, we’re supposed to “detach from others”, but then she recommends that we refrain from hurting anyone’s feelings. Since when are we responsible for the feelings of others, especially after she’s already told us that feelings are “choices that can be released”?

In addition, some of her questions—I suppose they’re intended to be thought provoking—are yes/no questions. This does not promote self-examination or exploration, but rather corners readers into following her logic and her conclusions about the matter. She also prods us to be “examples” to one another, as if that’s our main reason for existence.

Some of her bite-sized statements are repetitive and many beg for further explanation. For example, taking a rather smug tone, she writes, “We had a hand in selecting the lessons we are experiencing today. Remembering this takes the sting out of the hard ones, doesn’t it?”

She doesn’t explain the spiritual truth that causes her to believe this way, so why—and indeed, how—can readers just swallow these kind of statements? If she would share, for example, that prominent past life regressionists and licensed hypnotherapists chronicle reports from patients of creating a curriculum with our guides before incarnating (such as that found in the book Journey of Souls by Dr. Michael Newton), then individuals could at least follow her perspective.

I enjoyed the passages on “do no harm”, but if we’re ultimately responsible for only ourselves (as the author teaches), then how can we know that acts of self-care wouldn’t “harm” another? Going through life trying not step on proverbial ants (i.e. trying to protect people from discomfort)—not to mention always trying to be an example to others—is downright burdensome. How is this conducive to peace?

With continual urging to walk away from arguments and conflicts, there is a vibe of cool detachment and “let’s stick our head in the sand” pervading much of this book.

All We Have Is All We Need is an attractive title for a book, but unfortunately, the contents are rather shallow. If you’d like information on spiritual surrender or accepting life as it is, you’d be better off getting the book Loving What Is by Byron Katie. Two other good books—authored by fellow Conari Press writers—are There Are No Mistakes by Eleanor Wiley or Let Go, Let Miracles Happen by Kathy Cordova.

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There Are No Mistakes: Becoming Comfortable with Life As It Is – Eleanor Wiley
Let Go, Let Miracles Happen: The Art of Spiritual Surrender – Kathy Cordova

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