A Course in Miracles
Once upon a time I was very highly strung. No, let's be honest - I was neurotic. I had a lot to say about a lot of things, and I was awfully angry at the world. I was also depressed, stuck and headed nowhere fast.
Now I'm not saying things have changed completely (that's for my friends to judge!), but I feel that these days I'm a little calmer, and a little easier to be around.
There are all sorts of reasons for this, but one of the biggest is the fact that, many years ago, I read Marianne Williamson's wonderful book A Return to Love, and it quite simply changed my life.
For the first time I heard that I didn't need to control the world, that the whole world wasn't against me and I was perfectly OK just as I was. These were messages I desperately needed to hear, and still need to hear on occasion. I love Marianne, though I'm aware that she's an easy figure to make fun of - she's so terribly American, and terribly New Age. But if we can suspend these surface judgements and come to her work with a more open heart and mind, I think we can quickly see that she is sincere. And her message is not an easy one, despite what some people might allege. I admire Marianne because she's stuck at it over the years, and has grown and matured without giving in unduly to new trends. And we don't need to mention her loyalty to, and support of, queer people ever since she first rose to popularity.
So Marianne's book led me to A Course In Miracles. I found it VERY difficult at first - I couldn't abide the Christian terminology, and I found the whole thing interminable. But once I began to use it as it's meant to be used - i.e. as a daily spiritual guidebook - it began to make more sense to me, and now I love it and find it invaluable and so, so wise. It still challenges me, and some days I want to throw it aside or argue with it - always a good sign, I think.
I always feel a little embarrassed to admit that the Course has been so important in my life, but now it's out for all the world to see! I will always defend it, and defend the work of Ms. Williamson.