“No-one escapes suffering in this life. None of us is exempt from loss, pain, illness and death. Yet, how is it that we have so little understanding of these essential experiences? How is it we have attempted to keep grief separated from our lives and only begrudgingly acknowledge its presence in the most obvious of times. Without some measure of intimacy with grief, our capacity to be with any other emotion or experience in our life is greatly compromised. It is our unexpressed sorrows, the congested stories of loss, when left unattended, that block our access to the soul.” – Francis Weller
There is so much loss in the world at the moment – death of those too young to die, destruction of the environment, losses of homes due to fire, the slaughtering of rhino……the list goes on.
In this article on grief Francis Weller speaks of the Four Gates of Grief:
- the losses connected to losing someone or something we love
- the grief that occurs in the places never touched by love – these are the places within us that have been wrapped in shame and that we do not show to the world
- the losses of the world around us
- the expectations coded into our physical and psychic lives – expectations of a connection with the sacred
“It is difficult to resist the temptation to retract and close down the heart to the world. What then? What becomes of our concern and our outrage for the way things are going? Too often we go numb…”
It is a long article but really worth the read.