The soul is eternally whole and complete in God. An overexternalized worldview separates us from our souls, thus causing us to suffer; and only by reclaiming our souls can we end our suffering.
This reclamation of our souls isn’t a process of pouring light over the darkness; rather, it is a process of bringing the darkness to light. We must excavate our internal darkness—our barriers to love—for only then can we release them. And none of this necessarily feels good when it’s happening.
But in avoiding our sadness we avoid our lives. Learning from our sadness can bear great fruit, and avoiding it can have hidden costs. Our choice is between feeling the sharp pains of self-discovery or enduring the dull ache of unconsciousness that will last for the rest of our lives. Suppressing our pain isn’t ending our pain; it’s simply displacing it.
The avoidance of sadness decreases our capacity to learn from it. For how can we deeply understand what we have failed to deeply look at? Sometimes it’s in the midst of our tears that we come to understand a situation more fully.
Even a happy life can have sad days, and sadness is sometimes simply a sign of growth. It doesn’t serve any of us to cast a cheap yellow smiley face over almost everything, as though being sad is simply wrong.
Just as storms have a function in nature, they have a function within the psyche as well. Just as babies who are never exposed to any germs can fail to develop the antibodies they need, people who avoid the fullness of their suffering fail to develop the emotional skills they need to deal with it.
In recognizing the spiritual meaning of our sadness, we find the appropriate place to put it—in our psyches, and in our lives. We come to realize the ways we have separated ourselves from love, from each other, and thus from the peace of God. Knowing this, the true source of our pain, we can then correct the problem on the level where the problem lies.
Spirituality isn’t some quaint stepchild of an intelligent worldview, or the only option for those of us not smart enough to understand the facts of the real world. Spirituality reflects the most sophisticated mindset and the most powerful force available for the transformation of human suffering—whether someone is taking medication or not.
That is why learning the basics of a spiritual worldview—and the mental, emotional, and behavioral principles that this entails—is key to reclaiming our inner peace.
Darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Meditation is a path to light. Forgiveness is a key to light. Prayer is a path to light. Those are powers that give comfort to the soul, providing what no earthly remedy can. And they are the powers we most need to develop now. They heal our lives by healing our thoughts; and it is in learning to change our thinking that we learn to change our lives.
As it is written in Romans 12:2, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Renewing our minds, we will renew the world.”
Excerpt From: Williamson, Marianne. “Tears to Triumph.”