The careful and honest articulation (rather than avoidance) of the ambiguities, uncertainties, and painful condition of everyday existence can bring us hope and renewal. Our vision of the future is born out of the sufferings of the present and our compassion for others out of our despair. In other words, only by embracing our shadows can we become fully integrated and authentic spiritual pilgrims. As Nouwen points out. "Jesus shows, both in his teachings and in his life, that true joy often is hidden in the midst of our sorrow, and that the dance of life finds its beginnings in grief."