Everyday Grace

everyday grace Marianne Williamson has done it again.  She has grabbed my mind and taken it on an African Safari.

This book is delightful to touch.  The pages are deckled and there is just this pleasing feeling, as I handle this book.

The story opens up comparing life to Harry Potter.  Its interesting, to me, how Marianne, can use examples that seem to speak, just to me. (The Harry Potter Reading Challenge starts Saturday.)

If asked, today, if I was religious, I’d have to answer, “yes.”  But, I’ve often thought about the whole man-made religion verses God-given Spirituality.  As much as I had never given being “a mystic” any thought.. it seemed to roll off my tongue and into my heart, rather easily.

I looked up the word “mystic,” today, because its one of those words that speaks many definitions.

On Thesaurus.com, the words I seem to relate to, the most, surrounding the word, “mystic,” include:

  • secret
  • cryptic
  • hidden
  • magic
  • mysterious
  • spiritual

I’m  not feeling the definitions “unnatural” and “imaginary.”

When I think of things “religous” or “spiritual,” I think of secret prayer, secret service, faith with works, walks with God, and meditation.  When I think of meditation, I think of secret gardens and music that lifts my soul. And Singing.

Early, in Everyday Grace, Marianne discusses a mystic’s supplies.

“What are the mystic’s supplies? They are spiritual principles, much like magical wands in their capacity to turn any situation into a crucible of miraculous transformation.  They change the world by changing us.  The mystic path is a journey of personal transformation, and while the goal of the journey is to become our true selves, we can only do this by letting go of who we are  not.”

Our true selves.  Our Authentic selves. (So Sarah Ban Breathnach, eh?)

Pertinent, to my own life, right now, the chapter on Grief, teaches not to avoid the heartbreak of life,

“nor try to distance from it in the name of spirituality, mental health, or anything else.

Enlightenment does not consist of pretending to be where we are not; enlightenment means being in touch with where we are and being willing to learn what God would have us learn from it.  Sometimes the purpose of a day is to merely feel our sadness, knowing that as we do, we allow whole layers of grief, like old skin cells, to drop off us.”

Towards, the end of Everyday Grace, Marianne, talking about Community.  She reflects back on life on 1/1/2000, and how there was this sense of newness and togetherness..

I couldn’t help but think of September 12th.  How together, we were, because of our feelings of vulnerability.  How we united, in mind and spirit, to put one foot in front of the other…  How every minute thing, around us, was important.  How the mundane, everyday problems, were on-hold.  How we allowed ourselves to just “be.”

Its sad that we can’t find more common ground, sans tragedy.

A Return to Love

return to loveWhat an inspiring book. Marianne is a real person, who has had real experiences.

There are some words, in this book, that will offend people. I think her choice, in words, though, makes her more real.

I would, however, worry that giving this book to some Christians, would really offend them.

Must I say “offend” three times? I think so. I am not beyond “bad words” and I wouldn’t say this book is loaded with them.. it is not. But, some people, don’t want to read or hear any.. hence my warnings.

When I first started reading A Return to Love, I was very skeptical. I have some very direct spiritual views. I’d say that I’m not part of the “Christian Norm,” at all, though.

I like a book that touches me.. Just like music, I want a book to stir my soul, too. Teach me something.. even if its a different way to think or feel. Make me feel that you’ve come into my life, for a purpose.. even if I don’t know what that purpose may be.

I have an open mind. I was able to turn the page, and continue reading, when my own skepticism questioned what I was doing..

..and I’m so grateful that I did.

Sometimes simple concepts are the hardest for us to grasp, because we are too busy thinking we know everything..

Marianne has taught me, so much, about me. She has taught me something about every friendship/relationship that I’ve ever had.. She has helped me see where failures, of my past, were not failures, if they served a purpose. We simple must accept that we don’t have to know the purpose of a relationship to pursue it… or to end it.

Sometimes walking away is very difficult, but healthy, too.

My budget does not allow me to purchase and give this to those who have touched my lives.. but I want to. I want to mail it to a prison. I want to send several just across town. I want to allow my “former friends” the opportunity to see how we can be so different, and yet the same.

Marianne changed my views of arrogance and selfishness to “fear.” God is Love. Love is all there is. It seems simple. Too simple. But, our fears really do control us.. and if we can but see them as illusions, we can overcome them, and be better human beings.

I am going to break down, some of Marianne’s thoughts and concepts, in future posts, where I can direct some specific thoughts, that I have..

Read this book. Really read it. It will change your mind..