Tears to Triumph: Spiritual Healing for the Modern Plagues of Anxiety & Depression
“We all face times in our lives when the pain of existence seems too much to bear. For some of us, these experiences happen rarely, and when they do, the pain is relatively mild. But for others of us, excruciating pain can weigh us down and make the slightest comfort difficult to achieve. Deeper and deeper we fall into the well of our tears, into the darkness that seems to have no bottom. We wonder where all this suffering came from. And we wonder whether it will ever end.
If you or someone you love are living through one of those times - feeling that to take another breath, even to live another day, seems hard to contemplate - then i’m glad you are here. You may find here some pieces of the puzzle you have not yet explored. A mystery. Perhaps a miracle.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to make any effort. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have to do work on your won behalf. Miracles aren’t a quick fix, or an easy answer. But they activate a spiritual power divinely authorised to help you. God is here, even here, in the midst of your suffering.
Consider the possibility now that anything could happen. I’m not asking you to believe this, but consider that it might be true. Simply thinking this thought - that miracles are possible - does more to pave the way for healing than you can imagine. It opens the door to a realm of infinite possibilities, regardless of what you have been through or what you are going through now. The pain you are going through is not what will determine your future, your future will be determined by who you are as you go through your pain. This is not to question the depth of your suffering. Within the mortal world it is certainly real. But the reality in which you are ensnared is not itself what it appears to be, nor are you yourself quite the being you feel you are now. We can expand the definition of who you are, as well as what the world is - and your life will begin to change. Your human self might be in hell right now, but your divine self is literally untouched by your suffering. And your divine self is who you are.
Your subconscious mind is aware of your larger reality and will assume the role of showing you when you are ready for it to do so. This process will be one of the great journeys of your life, as you will see things you haven’t seen and know things you haven’t known. Your tears, your hopelessness, your fears, your anger, your guilt, your resentment, your remorse, your terror - none of these will be papered over or denied. You will not dissolve them by keeping them in the dark, but by exposing them to the light. And as you do, you will see beyond them such magnificence - in yourself and in the world - that you will actually bless the journey of your suffering, for it led you to yourself and to the meaning of your life. Spiritual healing doesn’t lie in denying your pain, but in feeling it fully and surrendering it to God. And then the miracles begin…
This book is a spiritual reflection on human suffering, both its cause and its transcendence. Spirituality is not some pale-pink, gauzy, psychologically unsophisticated understanding of the world. Rather, it represents the most profound elucidation of how the mind operates and how it filters our experience. It recognises the extraordinary depth of our most fundamental yearning - our yearning for love - and the extraordinary pain that we feel when we don’t find it.
There is an epidemic of depression in our world today, and a myriad of options for how to treat it. Just as there are natural remedies for disease within the body, there are natural remedies for disease within the mind. And by “natural remedy” for depression I do not mean herbs or homeopathic remedies; I mean the practical application of love and forgiveness as a medicine for the soul.
As a society, we invite depression by trivialising love. We have sold our souls for a mess of pottage. Human existence is not just a random episode, with no higher purpose than that all of us should get what we want. Seen that way with no overlay of spirit, our lives seem to have no ultimate meaning. And the soul craves meaning in the body craves oxygen. In the absence of a spiritual framework, we know the mechanics of life but stop short of understanding it. Failing to understand life, we misuse it. And misusing it, we cause suffering - fo ourselves and for others.
Every great religious and spiritual philosophy speaks to the issue of human suffering. For instance: Buddha’s spiritual journey began when he saw suffering for the first time; Moses was moved by the suffering of the Israelites; and Jesus suffered on the cross. But the point is not simply that Buddha saw suffering; the point is that he transcended it through his enlightenment. The point is not simply that the Israelites were enslaved; the point is that they were rescued and led to the Promise Land. The point is not simply that Jesus was crucified; the point is that he was resurrected. Human suffering was only the first part of the equation; what matters most is what happened after divine intervention.
We too are suffering and observe suffering all around us; we too are enslaved by an internal pharaoh; and we too are dying on the cross of the world’s cruelty and lack of reverence. Whether it occurred thousands of years ago or is occurring today, suffering is suffering, oppression is oppression, and cruelty is cruelty. These things are not ancient realities that don’t exist anymore. They’re not gone.
And neither is God’s power to eradicate them. Spirit enlightened Buddha; Spirit delivered the Israelites; and Spirit resurrected Jesus. If we know our our suffering as the same as theirs, it makes sense to seek a deeper understanding of their deliverance, that we might more easily invoke our own. How arrogant we are, and how blind, to think that our suffering is the same as it’s always been, yet somehow we’ve improved on ways to deal with it. Are any of us under the impression that Buddha could have transcended suffering by making more money, getting a better job, or buying a better car? Or that the Israelites could have escaped slavery if they’d had another round of negotiations with the Pharaoh or a private jet to take them to the Promise Land? Or that Jesus could have risen from the dead if only cryonics had been around then?
Humanity, over the past few hundred years, has lessened the incidence of some forms of suffering and increased the incidence of others. We’ve diminished the threat of polio, but increased the threat of nuclear disaster. We’ve diminished the dangers of travel, but increased the chances that our entire ecosystem will implode. And if we think that we don’t do “rape and pillage” anymore, take a look at what’s going on around the world. There is no worldly solution to the suffering, or self-destructiveness, of humanity today that can compare to the solutions offered by the great religions and spiritual philosophies of the world. Which is exactly why the ego mind has sought to co-opt them from its purposes. It has tuned the power of peace into the power of the sword, both within the world and within out hearts. Today’s search for spiritual sustenance is not confined to a particular teaching. There is no right of wrong when it comes to Buddhism, or Judaism, or Christianity, or Islam, or Hinduism. They are all kaleidoscopic facets of one essential diamond. Whether we relate personally to the story of Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, or Krishna; whether we understand truth more deeply when it is expressed by Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell , or A Course in Miracles; the essential themes at the heart of all these teachings are universal. They apply to all people, and most significantly, to all times.
The great religious figures and teachings of the world are God’s gifts, a divine hand reaching down to touch the minds of those who are called to them. While the ego uses the outer aspects of these teachings to divide us - sometimes even as justification to destroy one another - their inner truths unite us by teaching us how to live with each other. On an internal level, the great religions of the world have always led to miracles. On an external level, they have as often led to violence and destruction. That must change, and will change, as more people come to recognise the mystic truths, the inner gold that lives within them all. The greatest opportunity for humanity’s survival in the twenty-first century lies not in widening our external horizons, but in deepening our internal ones. That applies to us personally, and it applied to us collectively.
And we will be sad until we do. Our bodies, our relationships, our careers, our politics, will continue to be sources of suffering when they should really be sources of joy. Hidden within all great spiritual teachings is the key to turning that around. Once we find the key, and turn the key, we are amazed by what lies hidden behind that door the has been locked to God. We’re not with hope; we just haven’t been seeing it. We’re not without power; we just haven’t been claiming it. We’re not without love we jus haven’t been living it.
Seeing these things, our lives begin to change. Our minds are awakened. Miracles happen. And at last our hearts are glad.”
Excerpt from “Tears to Triumph” New York Times Bestseller written by author, lecturer and activist Marianne Williamson. Marianne is running for president in 2020 and her mission to lead from the heart has never been more needed. She urges the need for a spiritual revolution in order to address the deep healing needed to restore the nation of America and beyond.