It has become apparent that being present with our clouds and shadows has become one of my own main goals. Also I enjoy helping people become aware of theirs and accept these challenges. Here's what I say to a friend (or you) when they are having a hard time with inner pain (such as anger, frustration, jealousy, greed, sadness, impatience, judgement, hatred, or shame). "I know you are in pain. I can feel the dark cloud around you. You are burdened with a heavy weight that makes you despair and not enjoy life. What if the cloud simply was a cloud? And by welcoming the cloud you could allow it to dissolve and fly free. By letting the darkness of the cloud free you become filled with light and you see a life of peace and safety. You haved lived with this cloud for so many years that you identify it as part of you. You think life without the cloud doesn't exist. You don't like the cloud, but you don't see another alternative. You are not ready to let it go yet. One day the cloud disappeared for a short while. It is as though you can finally relax and breathe. You no longer feel the weight of the cloud causing you stress or worry. And you think "this is what it feels like to be happy." But it doesn't last long. The cloud returns and you give up all hope for a life of ease. You return to a life of thinking about the cloud all the time in the back of your mind. This makes it hard for you to connect with others or enjoy the simple pleasures of life. What if you made a commitment to love the cloud and welcome it? You are ready to let it go for good. Only when you make that decision will your life really change. Only when you accept that cloud will the light appear.