I just finished Marianne Williamson’s book The Law of Divine Compensation. Marianne and I have a love/dislike relationship. (Disclaimer: I don’t know her personally, she’s never heard my name so this is nothing personal towards her.)
I’ll be reading along and a paragraph will just be so true to my heart that it takes my breath away. And then there’s a whole chapter that I’m tapping my toe, wondering how many more pages to go.
Marianne Williamson authored one of my favorite quotes:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
This is a glorious call to claim your greatness! Just when I start thinking, “who am I to think I can do _____,” I hear these words in my head.
However, there are plenty of her thoughts that don’t speak to me — and that’s okay. There is a quote attributed to Buddha:
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
Which, apparently is a very poor translation. Here’s a better translation:
“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.
(Very interesting reading on the above website!)
The point of this post is — read inspirational writings! And know that not everything is going to make sense to you, or speak to you or will you even agree with it. From the time that man could discuss beliefs, we’ve disagreed. Some of us are born “old souls” with wisdom beyond our years, some of us earn our wisdom in our lifetime and some of us don’t care. We talked about the lesson that most of us need to learn about not touching the hot stove by actually touching the hot stove. The reality is that using your own inner barometer, your own experience and your own judgment is the only way to discern your own Truth. And you should be willing to change your mind!
How many times have you heard a phrase or a concept and the meaning suddenly hits you. You understand the concept in a deeper, more touching way. And you’ve thought, “gee, I’ve heard that story/phrase/thought a thousand times and never really got it.” Perhaps an experience made that teaching come to life for you.
So pick up those authors who write words of encouragement or challenge. Don’t get stuck on the stuff you don’t agree with — you may change your mind later, or you may always have the same opinion. But be willing to look at what they have to offer. Be willing to challenge your way of living and your level of awareness. And be willing to share the gems that help you change your mind or that lift you up!
The last paragraph in The Law of Divine Compensation reads:
Today’s reality is simply a mirror of yesterday’s thinking. Now, in this moment, standing in the field of miraculous possibility, you can disenthrall yourself from the limits of your past. Nothing binds you except your thoughts; nothing limits you except your fear; and nothing controls you except your beliefs. Think God, think Jesus, think Light, think Love, think whatever form of divinity calls to you. And all else will fall away.”
Amen. You said that very well, Marianne!