For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with American history. I participated in making a film about United States presidents in elementary school. I got a perfect score on the final test in my American civil war class in junior high and I read books on the revolutionary war just for fun.
When I was old enough to vote I was ecstatic to finally be an active part of our democracy.
However as time went on I began to feel disillusioned and disappointed that our government didn't seem to live up to its founding principles. In my view it often failed to do the right thing for its people and when I complained about this to others I was invariably told that I was naive and didn't understand how the world worked these days.
Eventually I accepted this and turned to my other interests: Art, music and literature. Psychology, philosophy and spirituality. I decided that it was foolish to look to external forces to improve the world. The real revolution, I concluded, happened within.
I don't think I was entirely wrong. In many ways I can see how the personal transformation movement had positive effects on the world at large and how our culture did evolve to reflect our higher values in some areas. However, I can look back and see now that even while this was happening there were forces working against it. The fact that not everyone in the world shared my values became disturbingly clear on September 11, 2001 and the fact that not everyone in my own country agreed with my principles became shockingly apparent on November 9, 2016.
How the hell did this happen? I found myself asking that day but there seemed to be no satisfactory answer or any plausible solution. “Resist” and “Persist” were excellent maxims for those who had some power in the system of our government but as an average citizen I felt there was little I could do other than use the skills I had to encourage others and wait for the next election.
And pray for a miracle.
Enter Marianne Williamson. Like millions of other people, I first became aware of her when she appeared on the Oprah Show in 1992. I read her book “A Return To Love” and it earned a place on my bookshelf alongside other publications that I considered my “manuals for life” such as “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck and my collection of Merle Shain books. My best friend and I would purchase and swap cassette tapes of her lectures, listening to them so many times that we could quote parts of them verbatim to each other as advice when personal challenges arose.
I continued to read her books and follow her career. Unlike some other “Spiritual Authors”, Williamson was not a fad for me. Her message remained consistent but evolved to address the times we lived in and reflect her own process of maturity. Her extensive charitable work gave her credibility. She was someone who walked her talk and I admired her as a person as much as I appreciated her wisdom as an author and a lecturer.
When her book, “Healing The Soul Of America” came out, some people saw it as a departure from her spiritual teachings but I didn't. It was obvious to me by then that she had an interest in American history and social justice. However, when I read that book I realized she was even more knowledgeable than I had guessed. Not only that but she spoke of things I hadn't thought about in years, things that awakened the love I had for American history and democracy back in junior high school. I actually remember clearly thinking one night as I was reading that book, “she should run for president.”
I didn't seriously think she ever would at the time but she was clearly moving in a more political direction, co founding what would eventually be known as The Peace Alliance, launching the Sister Giant conferences and joining the board of RESULTS, a non-profit citizens' advocacy group.
In 2018, however, I was experiencing a personal crisis and though I still practiced many of the things I learned from Marianne Williamson to cope with it, I wasn't aware of her Love America Tour or even when she declared her candidacy in early 2019.
I only became aware of her candidacy a few months ago when, after a long hiatus from Facebook, I logged in and saw a video she posted talking about it.
My first thought: She finally did it.
My second thought: This is the miracle I've been praying for.
Marianne Williamson is a bridge from the personal to the political. Just as she knows the core principles that allow a person to thrive individually, she understands the founding principles of our democracy and how they can be restored, renewed and re-imagined so that we can all reach our full potential collectively.
Unlike our current leadership, she sees beyond what divides us to what connects us; our common humanity and our ability to do great things.
For people like myself, who have found themselves stalled on their personal spiritual journey and frustrated by the horrors happening around us, Marianne Williamson is offering an answer to the question, “What can I do?”
That answer is ultimately different for everyone but at it's core I believe it is this:
Do what you have been doing - what you love to do, what you have been trained to do, what you know you're good at – but do it in service of something bigger than yourself. Do it not just for personal reward or enlightenment. Do it even if it doesn't earn you money or accolades. Do it in spite of being judged or mocked for it. Do it for others, for your country and your planet. Do it because you know in your heart it is the right thing to do.
That is the path that Marianne Williamson has walked her whole life and I believe it is the path to the next level spirituality all of us seekers have yearned for and the next level politics this country was created for.
Learn more about Marianne Williamson and her political platform at Marianne2020.com
Thank you for reading.
Peace, love and justice for all,