Grief and loss arrive at our door in many ways. Left unattended, these sorrows can seep underground, darkening our days.
It is our unexpressed sorrows, the congested stories of loss that – when left untouched – block our access to the vitality of the soul. To be able to freely move in and out of the soul’s inner chambers, we must first turn toward the weighty terrain of grief and find meaningful ways to speak of sorrow. This requires that we take up an apprenticeship with sorrow.
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Grief and loss touch us all. It comes swirling on the winds of di-vorce, the death of someone dear, as an illness that alters the course of a life, a childhood bereft of love and security. For many of us, grief is tied intimately to the ravages we witness daily to watersheds and forests, the extinction of species, the collapse of democracy and the fading of civilization.
In a time when the grief of the world threatens to overwhelm our small boat of self, we must find a deeper ground from which to respond to the ever-present reality of loss. Grief is more than an emotion; it is also a core faculty of being human. It is a skill that must be cultivated, or we will find ourselves migrating to the mar-gins of our lives in hopes of avoiding the inevitable entangle-ments with loss.
It is through the rites of grief that we are ripened as human be-ings. Grief invites gravity and depth into our world. Our appren-ticeship slowly matures as we develop the capacity to metabo-lize sorrow into something medicinal for our soul and the Anima Mundi, the soul of the world.
This talk was originally delivered at the Jung Society of Utah. It includes poetry, story and conversation as a way to court the wild edge of sorrow.
Who would enjoy this lecture
- Anyone interested in a soulful approach to grief, sorrow and heartbreak.
- If you are in the midst of experiencing grief, loss or heartbreak and interested in finding ways to make sense of and navigate the waters of your sorrow.
- If you are interested in gaining practical yet soulfully-minded skills to navigate grief, loss or sorrow for yourself, your loved ones or, if you are a mental health practitioner, for your clients.
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