Bestselling author tells Oprah she's battling cancer, but not mad at God

The co-writer of "The Shadow Effect" with Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson and "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" was furious with the Almighty ... at first

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“The stench was almost more than I could bear. The tiled floor and the grout that held the tiles together, which probably started out gray,

were now black with mold. And even though I’m a bit of a clean freak, I forced myself into the room because at this point I was so filled with toxic emotions and so desperate for help that I decided to do the unthinkable: I got down on the floor on my hands and knees in a prayer position and began to pray.

“I asked God — or my higher power, as they called it — to come to me, to help me, to rescue me from my pain and my own self-destruction. My body was trembling, and tears were rolling down my cheeks. I was desperate for help, for understanding, and for salvation. And although I had attended synagogue all my life, attended many 12-Step meetings, and heard all types of people talk about God, for me God was nothing more than a man in the sky, a concept in my mind that brought me neither comfort, peace of mind, nor faith. The actual experience of God, spirit, or divine consciousness did not exist for me.

“So for a few minutes, I listened to the ranting in my head about how stupid this was, how disgusted I was to be here, and how embarrassed I felt begging some power I didn’t even believe in to help me. I felt angry at God, at my parents, and at all those who had hurt me, believing that if it weren’t for all of them I wouldn’t be here, literally experiencing an all-time low.


“I tried to convince myself that I could get up and leave, but my fear that I would die if I ran away had led me here, and now it urged me to stay. There, on my hands and knees, not knowing what else to do, I began reciting the Serenity Prayer, which I had recently learned: God, grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference. I focused on each phrase, because I was desperate for a moment of inner peace. More than anything in the world, I just wanted a few minutes of quiet inside my noisy mind.

“I whispered the words just loud enough so I could hear them over and over and over again: “God, grant me courage to change.” I wanted to change; I needed to change, or I was going to kill myself. I was begging and crying hysterically. With my head in my hands, I sobbed uncontrollably, rocking my body from side to side, trying to soothe my broken heart, until suddenly I realized that something inside of me had shifted: a calm had come over me, a silence that was palpable.

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