Musings on inner and outer change

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Melbourne, Australia tonight. I’ve been on the road for more than two weeks, having spoken in London and in several cities in Australia. After my talk in Melbourne tomorrow night I will be off to Auckland, New Zealand, for a lecture there. In a few weeks I’ll be speaking in Canada.

Everywhere I’ve gone, as you can imagine, people are asking What in the world is going on in America?? I understand how people in other countries would be looking at the United States right now and asking how we’ve gone so berserk. But I’ve told people that what they see on the news is not an accurate picture of who we are; right now we’re simply going through a difficult chapter. I’ve reminded them that the vast majority of Americans are good and decent people just like in their countries, and while we’re in the middle of some very unfortunate events, we’ll make it through so don’t count us out.

Clearly, however, the times are difficult.

In the words of Thomas Paine:

"These are the times that try men's souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

If ever there was a time to stand for something bigger than ourselves, it’s now. We need a season of repair, an era of new beginnings, and a commitment to fundamental change. As I talk about in my video share above, that will have to include inner as well as outer changes; in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “quantitative shifts in our circumstances as well as qualitative changes in our souls.”

Years ago I used to go to Al Anon meetings, where I learned that there are times in life where we’re simply “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” And I would hear people say, “Get into the solution.” That, it seems to me, is where we are as a country. It’s so tempting to wallow in cynicism, desperation, anger, and hopelessness right now - but that is exactly what we must reject. We have a choice to make; to either be taken down by the undertow of current events, or make a commitment to ourselves that in whatever way possible we’ll be agents of change.

Sometimes we don’t exactly know how we’re going to do something but there’s a power in knowing that we’re committed to doing it. That’s how we need to see transforming the world right now. We don’t even need to know exactly how we’re going to do it. We just need to be receptive enough, and available enough - and in our better hours, courageous enough - to consistently show up for the task. The path unfolds when we are willing to walk it.

The only choices now, really, are to either give up or to look up. To take the route of pathology or the route of enlightenment. To give in to fear or to give it up for love. I’m reminded of an article I once read about how little chickens know when it’s time to hatch. A noxious gas begins to fill the inside of the eggshell and they have to get out in order to survive; they are literally dying to be born. At the moment when it’s time, the mother chick instinctively knows to tap on the eggshell from the outside, signally to the babies where to break through to the other side.

I mean really. If that’s not us, I don’t know what is. We are literally dying to be born into something new. We’re recreating ourselves, and we are going to recreate the world.

*For any of you in Melbourne, Auckland or Canada - or if you know anyone who is - go to my events page at Marianne.com to see my tour schedule.

TRANSFORM with Marianne Williamson
TRANSFORM with Marianne Williamson