Art by Astrid Lee at http://www.eartfair.com/lee/america.html
It’s can be a little embarrassing to admit to liking Marianne Williamson, even if I’m just admitting it to myself. She’s a kind of pop priestess who has a large Hollywood following and in some ways, the “pop” part and the “Hollywood” part make me uncomfortable.
It’s how I hate myself for liking John Mayer’s music.
But the fact is that I do like her. It may be pop religion, but she shares spiritual and self-help thoughts in accessible and sometimes lovely verbiage. So what’s wrong with that? In fact, I used something from a book of hers when I eulogized my mother in 1999 and it was my favorite part of the eulogy.
I‘ve read and gotten a lot out of a few of her books. They make me think, which is what a good book on spirituality should do. I find myself repeatedly going back to her book of prayers. They’re a lot more relevant to my life than the Hail Mary, may God not strike my Catholic-born soul down for saying so. And beautifully written, I think.
Yes, she’s famous, but it’s not a grasping kind of fame like other well-known, more evangelical preachers. Yes, she’s criticized for her path to enlightenment (a former jazz singer, etc.) But does her path matter? However she got there, she’s often got something interesting to say.
I saw this other other day, for example:
For every person who might reject you if you live your truth, there are 10 others who will embrace you and welcome you home.
Rejection in any form is hard to handle and especially if it’s for living our truth, whatever that might be. (And who would know better than Marianne?) Why is it we tend to focus on the the rejection part and not that 10 others who love and accept us, especially for the person we are?
I think of a former colleague who feels stuck at a job where her strengths are discounted. I think of another who went from a similarly negative work situation to flowering in a job where her strengths are celebrated. I think of myself in a particular personal situation.
It’s so easy to hang on to the negative and take that short path to self-blame. Easier than it is to recognize, reach out and embrace the positive in our lives, or to go out and find a more positive life scenario.
Negativism seems to be the default, knee-jerk position for many of us. It shouldn’t be. We’re okay, however we are.
I‘ve made a pact with myself to recognize and embrace only the many positives in my life. Why not join me?