The Politics Of Forgiveness: The Spiritual Leadership Of Marianne Williamson

I remember the impact Marianne Williamson first had on me, ten years ago. I was 25, starting to get a first glimpse of how cruel the world can be.

I think the thing that drew me to Marianne Williamson was the very feminine power Brian talks about in this conversation.

Marianne is resilient and commanding and she doesn’t take any BS.

She is proof that you can be vulnerable and warm-hearted without being weak.

The thing that struck me all those years ago was the very concept of a miracle.

Like Brian says, the usual concept we have a miracle is of something fantastical, from the parables of the bible.

Turning water into wine, healing the sick, raising the dead.

That’s not what Marianne means by miracle. Her idea of a miracle is something ordinary, a shift in perspective that alters our daily experience.

Marianne tells Brian about her study of A Course In Miracles, which she describes as a self-study programme of spiritual psychotherapy.

As I understand this, it is a way of harnessing our spiritual nature to heal psychological wounds.

Marianne is keen to point out that she is not part of any one religion, but her idea of spirituality seems to come from a sense of individual emancipation – the journey towards self-empowerment.

She says a miracle is: “A shift in perspective from fear to love.”

I remember reading her talk about this years ago, about how we can start to see even our biggest challenges as opportunities.

The deeper I went into this idea, the more it had an effect on my life.

I was having real difficulty adapting to a new boss. I felt like he was out to get me, trying to put me in my place all the time and always demeaning my work.

I decided that I was going to see this challenge as a chance for growth, a way of bettering my professional skills, and evolving past personal hurt and over-sensitivity.

I am not going to say it all worked out perfectly. But it did alter my relationship with that boss, and we did start to foster a resentful respect of each other.

If I hadn’t read Marianne Williamson, it could have become nasty.

Some people we are never meant to get on with. Personalities clash and it is part of life.

But looking at these clashes as miracles rather than causes for terror and insecurity can allow us to harness these conflicts to widen our consciousness.

I think it is important to remember that a miracle isn’t always fluffy, and you don’t always get the girl, or end the journey with some sitcom moral-of-the-story to take away.

Life is messy. So are miracles. Marianne is very much a child of the sixties, and she speaks to Brian a lot about the influence Bobby Kennedy had on her.

The ideals of liberal enlightenment, human rights and spirituality that we inherit from the sixties generation are alive and well in her own philosophies.

In the sixties, people’s lives were affected by ideas, and there was a sense that if you changed the ideas from the grassroots, you could change the society as a whole.

We are so overwhelmed with terrorism, natural disaster, climate change and political tragedy, that we seem to be disempowered by the fact we are so well-informed.

That link between personal growth and social change seems to have been lost.

It is important that we get it back, not just to make the world a better place, but so we realise the power of our thoughts, and the impact each of us makes on the world as individuals.As Marianne says, thoughts cause the world to be a certain way. We shape our environment, not the other way round.

Marianne’s idea of spirituality is hard work, it takes sweat, commitment and heartache.

As she says, it is where the rubber meets the road. It is not fuzzy thinking, it isn’t being a doormat.

It is simply action taken from a knowledge that there are other dimensions to human existence than those that meet the eye, and the firm belief that the foundation of the human spirit is love.

Marianne believes forgiveness is an act of strength, not rolling over and taking the hits. It is about looking at our challenges from a place of broad self-awareness.

She is very honest about her own struggles with forgiveness, describing herself as a brown belt, rather than an expert.

For Marianne, forgiveness is how we get our hands dirty, it is where we get the real spiritual gains.

It is how we evolve and grow and become new versions of ourselves.

Marianne Williamson had a powerful impact on my life, way before she was London Real, but I believe this episode is essential watching.

Leave a comment below and let me know how Marianne has impacted YOUR life.

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