In 1992, I published a book called A Return to Love. At the time, I was bit naive—I had never spent time thinking about things like book contracts, bestseller status or book royalties. I was excited to be able to live off the suggested donations at my lectures on A Course in Miracles, and while writing the book I don’t think I even thought about how well it might sell. In fact, due largely to the enthusiasm of Oprah Winfrey, it was the fifth bestselling book in America that year.

I had a strong sense at the time that the money hadn’t really come directly from the book—that it had come through it. It felt like the money was divine payment for something more than the book, particularly the charitable work I had been doing for years before, for no money at all. It was payment for how I had been trying to live my life, cleaning up any mess from my past and trying to be of service to others. The seeker isn’t looking to “get money,” but to exchange energy. And when the energy we’re putting out is filled with the consciousness of love, then the energy flowing back to us comes in whatever form most serves our good. I figured that if I lived a good life and worked hard, then I’d be taken care of somehow.

There was a level of naiveté to the life I was living before my book was published. It wasn’t that I was so pure or anything, so much as blessedly unaware of the more sophisticated principles by which wealth is supposedly created. There’s no way in the world that my activities during those years would have been thought to be good for business, because there was no business! But I was, in my own way, about my Father’s business. And then, when the book was published, I saw what I had done for love came back to me a thousand fold and more.

Such is the Law.

Excerpted from THE LAW OF DIVINE COMPENSATION by Marianne Williamson with permission by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2012.