There have been some opinion pieces in the media recently about Marianne Williamson and how the spiritual philosophies she ascribes to and has written about are “dangerous” to people with depression. She has addressed these claims and other lies and misinformation on her website and I have faith that most reasonable people can plainly see how her words are being taking out of context for the purposes of serving other agendas. However, as someone who struggles with depression I feel compelled to share my personal experience.
Marianne Williamson is not a recent phenomenon to me. I have been reading her books, listening to her lectures and following her career for more than 25 years. I am also familiar with depression and anxiety, having struggled with it for the majority of my 50 years, and am currently taking medication for it. So for the record I am telling you that I have never thought for one second that Marianne Williamson was advising me or even believed herself that I should not take medication for my mental illness. I also never got one inkling from her words or actions that she thought my depression was due to a lack of spiritual awareness on my part or that I should be able to “pray it away.”
What I have learned from Marianne Williamson is that sadness is sometimes an appropriate and necessary response to what is happening around me and that my willingness to feel it and learn from it rather than seek to deny or avoid it makes me strong (and not weak as others would have me believe). I learned from her that five minutes of meditation or prayer is a more effective coping mechanism for stress and anxiety than cigarettes or chocolate chip ice cream (both of which I was able to give up thanks to this practice). Most importantly I learned that no matter how sad, afraid or inadequate I feel, I am worthy of love and forgiveness and that loving and forgiving others, even when I feel deeply hurt and betrayed by them, can bring me peace.
So you see that not only is this wise and compassionate woman not dangerous to my mental health but I owe her a debt of gratitude for helping me improve it.
All that being said, I would like to clarify that this alone would not be enough to gain my support for her presidential candidacy. This isn't about that as much as it is about defending the good work she has done before now. However, I would like to ask that anyone reading this judge her candidacy based on the facts of her words, her actions and her stance on the issues our nation is facing rather than on the reactionary opinions of those who are uninformed or are actively seeking to discredit her for their own gain.
Thank you for reading.
Love will win,