Much as we might find ourselves on a hillside watching helplessly as an approaching storm overtakes where we stand, there are times when we know a sorrow is coming but are unable to get out from beneath its pain.

Sorrow that not only didn’t we tell someone of our love for him or her, but sorrow also that we couldn’t speak the truth of our heart—or that we just wouldn’t—for fear of being misunderstood.

Sorrow that we didn’t take a much firmer interior stand against what we could see defiled our soul, or sorrow that when we did attempt to be strong, all we found was the depths of our own inadequacy.

Sorrow over wasting so many precious hours pleasuring ourselves with meaningless pursuits, and sorrow for the fact that we knew better but feared emptiness more than regret.

In these observations there is no joy—only a faint sensing, a dim realization, that for these revelations something within us must die; further, that the deeper run its roots, the more meaningful will be its passing …

If we will stand there in these seemingly dark moments, one thing becomes increasingly evident: the growth of our soul rarely unfolds in a light that we recognize as such. Many times, darkness is the medium, sorrow the seed, and the subsequent humility conceived in these trials is the divine garden in which our soul flowers.

Key Lesson: It is through our awareness of imperfection—of seeing our own shadow appear, spread, and then falter in a supernal light—that the Divine first gives us a glimpse of its eternal perfection and then invites us to enter.

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