In order to find a silver lining, we must be willing to look for one. At the very least, we must be willing to recognize one when it appears. We must be willing to be comforted in order to be comforted. We must maintain an openness to spiritual realities. We must be teachable in order that we may be taught. It is for this reason that the great prayer is “Thy will be done.” The surrendering of our independent spirits to a higher good makes it possible to find a path through darkness. “Thy will be done, O Lord. Thy will be done.” This is the prayer of the dark night of the soul. This is the prayer of surrender.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 43

The Protection of Tears

There are times in a woman’s life when she cries and cries and cries, and even though she has the succor and support of her loved ones, still and yet she cries. Something in this crying keeps the predator away, keeps away unhealthy desire or gain that will ruin her. Tears are part of the mending of rips in the psyche where energy has leaked and leaked away. The matter is serious, but the worst does not occur — our light is not stolen — for tears make us conscious. There is no chance to go back to sleep when one is weeping. Whatever sleep comes then is only rest for the physical body.

Sometimes a woman says, “I am sick of crying, I am tired of it, I want it to stop.” But it is her soul that is making tears, and they are her protection. So she must keep on till the time of need is over. Some women marvel at all the water their bodies can produce when they weep. This will not last forever, only till the soul is done with its wise expression.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. 437


If you get out of someone’s way, they will fight and they will kick, but eventually, there’s nothing they can do but look at themselves and get real. Very, very real. Or totally self-combust in a life of lies. Or that dear opiate, denial….

All abuse is just bait. To get you to be the one who freaks out. So the other person doesn’t have to deal. Doesn’t have to take responsibility. Oh look — she’s the one with the black eye. She’s the one crying in the corner. She’s the one leaving. What a bitch.

But I stay silent and practice not taking the bait — not being resentful. Letting it wash over me. Because when I stay here, I am powerful. Very, very powerful. Take note of this. Let him have the middle-aged tantrum. Just be sure to duck!

— Laura Munson, This Is Not the Story You Think It Is. . . : A Season of Unlikely Happiness, p. 233-235

God’s Will

When we talk about God’s will and the possibility that it might be other than what we envision, it is easy to feel frightened. It is easy to say, “So. I knew it would come to this. My will at one ende of the table. God’s will at another.” But that is not really how it works. The daily attempt to find God’s will moves us closer together. Often we discover that God’s will for us involves more freedom, not less. Our dreams and desires do not come from nowhere. They come from God. God is able to shape both the dreams and desires and our character so that we arrive at a happy medium where our dreams and God’s dreams for us can be seen to coincide.

As we become teachable and open to God’s will for us, we have many small revelations. “Why, I thought X would make me happy, but it turns out that Y makes me happy instead.” All the time we were begging for X, God knew Y would make us happier. This is why, a day at a time, X was denied to us and Y was encouraged. We fight this encouragement. We fight this superior knowledge of our own temperaments. And then, in a fit of willingness, we surrender and we see that God had our best interests at heart all along.

God always has our best interests at heart. If we can believe this, it is easier to have faith. It is easier to believe this if we remember that God has the long view. God knows more of the variables. God knows not only what is best for us but what is best for everyone. God is involved in working out a far more intricate dance than we can know the details of. We work on our corner of the tapestry. We think, “Ah, it is a tapestry about a fox,” because the fox is the animal that we can see. What we do not know is that it is a tapestry about a unicorn and that the fox peeking through the shrubbery is way over in a tiny corner at the left. God’s eye is on the unicorn and the fox. God’s eye brings each one along a stitch at a time.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 25-26

Having Forgiven

How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to remember to say about it all. You understand the suffering that drove the offense to begin with. You prefer to remain outside the milieu. You are not waiting for anything. You are not wanting anything. There is no lariat snare around your ankle stretching from way back there to here. You are free to go. It may not have turned out to be a happily ever after, but most certainly there is now a fresh Once upon a time waiting for you from this day forward.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. 403