Do You Believe in Magic?
Marianne Williamson


At a certain point, life becomes less about who you're becoming and more about who you've become.  What you used to think of as the future has become the present, and you can't help but wonder if your life wouldn't be better if you'd just lived it more fully in the past.  But how could you have?  You were too busy thinking about the future!

Once you're past a certain age, you can hardly believe you wasted even one minute of your youth not enjoying it.  And the last thing you want to do now is steal any more life from yourself by failing to be deeply in it while it's happening.  You finally get it--not just theoretically, but viscerally--that this moment is all you have.

 You don't close your eyes anymore and wonder who you might be in 20 years; if you're smart, you study the tape of your current existence to monitor how you're doing now.  You see the present as an ongoing act of creation.  You look more closely at your thoughts, behavior, and interaction with others.  You understand that if you're coming at life from fear and separation, you have no reason to expect anything but fear and separation back.  You seek to increase your strengths and decrease your weaknesses.  You look at your wounds and ask God to heal them.

You ask forgiveness for the things you're ashamed of.

You no longer seek your satisfaction in things outside yourself, completion in other people, or peace of mind in either the past or future.  You are who you are, not who you might one day be.  Your life is what it is, not what it might someday be.  Focusing on who you are and what your life is right now, you come to the ironic and almost amusing realization that, yes, the fun is in the journey itself.

One of my biggest regrets is missing the Christmas pageant at my daughter's preschool when she was three years old.  On the one hand, someone working for me didn't bother to tell me about it; on the other, I'd obviously given off the vibe that I wouldn't care or didn't have time to go.  And now sometimes I think to myself what I wouldn't give to see that pageant now.  I have a memory missing, and it feels like a hole where a smile should be.

I was ashamed to admit it, when finally I did, that I'd become a bit like my father, who was so concerned about his career in his 40s and 50s that his emotional availability to his children was relegated to only one day of the week.  On Sundays, I had him; every other day, I longed for him.  Years later, when his first granddaughter came along, he'd aged to that more mellow place where being present to a child seemed at last more satisfying than being present to his work.

I used to feel jealous of the little girls whom he grandfathered with so much care and attention.  I knew that if he had fathered me the way he grandfathered them, I would have become a different woman.  How horrified I was years later to hear my five-year-old daughter say these pitiful words:  "I miss my mommy even when she's here."

Seeing places where we have been unconscious before, we have a desire to do it all again--but right this time!  And in some cases we can.  Many people atone for not having been better parents by being much better grandparents.  And that's often how their children forgive them.  But some situations aren't so amenable to redoing, and some years can't so easily be made up.  That's why it's so important to appreciate that the best time to be your best is in the present moment.  You'll never have a better chance.

The purpose of this book by best-selling author and lecturer Marianne Williamson is to psychologically and spiritually reframe the midlife transition so that it leads to a wonderful sense of joy and awakening.   In our ability to rethink our lives lies our greatest power to change them.   When we were young, we had energy but we were clueless about what to do with it.  Today, we have less energy, perhaps, but we have far more understanding of what each breath of life is for.  And now at last, we have a destiny to fulfill—not a destiny of a life that’s simply over, but rather a destiny of a life that is finally truly lived.


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