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from A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. Copyright © 1996 by Marianne Williamson. Excerpted by permission
of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be
reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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"You'd think we'd have some compassion for ourselves, bound up in emotional chains the way we are, but we don't."
A Return to Love, Part 1
"There is no place for hell in a world whose loveliness can yet be so intense and so inclusive it is but a step from there to Heaven."
Those passages with double quotation marks are quoted directly from A
Course in Miracles. Those passages with single quotation marks are
paraphrased interpretations of that book. A complete listing of
citations to A Course in Miracles appears beginning on p. 301.
"The journey into darkness has been long and cruel, and you have gone deep into it."
What happened to my generation is that we never grew up. The problem isn't that we're lost or apathetic, narcissistic or materialistic. The problem is we're terrified.
A lot of us know we have what it takes--the looks, the education, the talent, the credentials. But in certain areas, we're paralyzed. We're not being stopped by something on the outside, but by something on the inside. Our oppression is internal. The government isn't holding us back, or hunger or poverty. We're not afraid we'll get sent to Siberia. We're just afraid, period.
Our fear is free-floating. We're afraid this isn't the right relationship or we're afraid it is. We're afraid they won't like us or we're afraid they will. We're afraid of failure or we're afraid of success. We're afraid of dying young or we're afraid of growing old. We're more afraid of life than we are of death.
You'd think we'd have some compassion for ourselves, bound up in emotional chains the way we are, but we don't. We're just disgusted with ourselves, because we think we should be better by now. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking other people don't have as much fear as we do, which only makes us more afraid. Maybe they know something we don't know. Maybe we're missing a chromosome.