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Asunto:[GAP] El Regalo de la Transformacion / Mariane Williamson / FW: An Excerpt from My New Book : THE GIFT OF CHANGE
Fecha:Lunes, 6 de Diciembre, 2004  11:25:36 (-0600)
Autor:Anahuak Home <redanahuak>

From: Marianne Williamson <mariannewilliamson@...>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2004 14:00:00 -0800
Subject: An Excerpt from My New Book

An E-mail from Marianne Williamson

Dear Friends, 

Thank you for the fantastic support I've received regarding my new book, THE
GIFT OF CHANGE: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life.  If you haven't
yet read it, then see below so you can get a feel for its contents. My hope
is that if the book would inspire you, it finds its way to your door.

Best wishes for a great holiday season,



"I found turning fifty harder than I expected it to be.

Somewhere around two or three months before the big day, I started to be
haunted by memories of a youth now irrevocably over. As much as I told
myself that fifty is the new forty, what I really wanted in my heart was to
have the old forty back. I had waking nightmares of blazing memories --
things I hadn't handled well, stupid choices I had made and could not make
over, chances I thought were never more to be retrieved. Grieving the glory
of my younger years, I had to face myself and all the pain that comes with

Several friends told me they had experienced the same thing, but not to
worry -- all of a sudden the anxiety would lift. And indeed that is the way
it happened for me. Sitting at an outside cafe late on the night of my big
five-O, looking up at the Eiffel Tower lit up against the sky, I felt the
pain lift. In an instant, it was all okay. I knew the sun had set on what
was no longer, but I had a sense that something new would now dawn to take
its place. 

Girlfriends had told me that the fifties are great because you don't care
anymore what others think. I don't know if that will be true for me, but I
do know that I'm not who I used to be. Fifty is as different from forty as
forty is from thirty and thirty from twenty. With the coming of fifty, one
makes a transition as fundamental as that of puberty. I have settled into
the paradox of middle age.

On one hand, you finally have some sense of what you're doing in the world.
At last I'm convinced I have a right to be here. I'm not as frantic as I
used to be, though I can't tell yet whether that's because I've evolved or
just aged. On the other hand, I get tired more easily, I often can't
remember things, and I'm exhausted  just from looking for my glasses all the
time! Most disconcerting of all, when I'm a serious mood and I do the math,
I can't garner much hope of changing things on this planet during the time I
have left. Our generation's shared delusion that we would usher in paradise
has been completely shattered. The older you get, the more you see how
entrenched certain negatives are. There is so much cruelty in the world that
you thought for years would go away; and as you age, it dawns on you that it
never really does. 

As disillusioning as it is to realize these things -- and disillusionment is
actually a good thing because it means you were laboring under illusions
before -- it's also the beginning of spiritual insight. Once you're deeply
convinced ther are no ultimate answers outside yourself, you start looking
for them where they truly are: inside. And you realize that in your slowing
down, you're more prepared to listen to things you were moving too fast
before to hear. 

So much wasted time, so many stupid mistakes. You feel you have the
knowledge now, but you're not sure you have the energy left: if only you had
known then what you know now. You come to understand George Bernard Shaw's
comment, that "Youth is wasted on the young."

Our adrenal glands decimated, our cells like fast cars beginning to show
wear, the fastest generation has begun to slow down. Jack Nicholson said in
a recent interview, "My generation is the new old." Our deepest burden is
the accumulated sorrow, the heartbreak of one decade impinging upon the next
until the heart can absorb no more. Your mind has figured so much out, but
your body isn't sure that it cares anymore. When it's more depressing than
joyful to wake up in the morning, then you know you have a problem.

And many people do.

Most people, once they hit middle age, face a fork in the road. And which
road they take, in the words of Robert Frost, will make all the difference.
One road leads to gradual dissolution --- a cruise however slow toward
death. The other road becomes a birth canal, a pattern of spiritual rebirth.
The older we get, the harder it is to choose rebirth. The ego's gravity
seems harder to resist.

We start out so enthusiastic about life, so entertained and delighted by the
very nature of things. But the newness fades; we grow jaded or exhausted,
and we begin to lose some vital appreciation for the possibilities inherent
in a day. As I write this, I hear teenagers in my backyard, delighting in
the mud puddles produced by the afternoon's storm. I have to consciously
check myself -- to remind myself that the ability to have fun in the mud is
what makes being young so wonderful, and not make a stink about the fact
that my towels are beige and this could ruin them. My mortal truth is that I
want the kids to hose off before they come back into the house, but my
soul's truth is that I wish I could enjoy the mud too.

So it's completely up to me, whether I start to become an old biddy who
cares too much about the towels, or instead hold on to my sense of adventure
and remember what's important. What the hell, the kids are happy and that is
what's important. And not just for kids, but for all of us."

----- from THE GIFT OF CHANGE, by Marianne Williamson

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