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
“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.