Author of the bestselling books The Age of Miracles and A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson discusses the power of thought and intention; is it really possible to use one's mind to turn dark thoughts into light?
It's so easy to believe that external things hold the power in life. We think money, or lack of it, determines our abundance; we think other people's behavior determines our happiness; we think success or failure, as the world defines it, determines our self-worth.
But it is ultimately our thinking, more than our outer circumstances, that determines whether we live lives of harmony and peace or of pain and despair. I have known healthy, wealthy people who were depressed, and people with critical illnesses who could honestly attest to joy.
A scientific worldview dominated Western civilization for centuries, pronouncing the external world the only "real" world. That which we can see, hear, touch, taste and feel was deemed reality, and the mind was thought to wield little or no power in either creating or transforming material circumstances.
In the past century this worldview began to change dramatically. In fact, it has been overthrown by science itself! Quantum physics and other cutting-edge theories show consciousness to be more than a mere witness to external events: It is now recognized for its role in causing and transforming events. As sages have proclaimed throughout the centuries, the world is but a reflection of what we think. As we change our thoughts, we can change our world.
In the realm of thought, there are two main categories: thoughts of love and thoughts of fear. Every single moment, we choose between the two. If I think with love, then I am more likely to behave lovingly and to attract love from others. If my heart is closed, I am more likely to act out of fear. Fear-based behavior tends not to look like fear but like anger or jealousy; it elicits reactions from others that reflect my fear and not my love.
Yet in any moment, we can change our minds. God created us to co-create with Him a world of harmony and peace and joy, which the love in our hearts gives us power to do. With every thought, we choose heaven on earth or hell on earth, for ourselves and for all the world. We have the power to bless or blame, to forgive or judge. With our thoughts we have the power to honor or mock, to believe in miracles or deny the possibility that they ever happen. When our minds move in harmony with love—through forgiveness or prayer or the simplest tender thought—then mountains move and the universe shifts.
Perhaps there is a situation in your life that causes you pain or anxiety, fear or grief. You can surround it in your mind with light and lift it up to God. Just that simple thought—that we take a situation of darkness and place it in the light, praying for God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves—puts into motion a force for universal good. It is unstoppable and indestructible. It is a field of intention that all be loved. It is, in essence, the power of love itself. Think about that. And think about it some more. And then think about it some more. For as a woman thinketh, so she is....
More Marianne: The time that matters most
From the September 2000 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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