"Whenever any portion of who we are is denied, we live in a condition of loss. The proper response to any loss is grief, but we cannot grieve for something that we feel is outside the circle of worth. That is our predicament — we chronically sense the presence of sorrow, but we are unable to truly grieve, because we feel in our body that this piece of who we are is unworthy of grief.... [But] Grief is a powerful solvent, capable of softening the hardest of places in our hearts. When we can truly weep for ourselves and those places of shame, we have invited the first soothing waters of healing to wash through our souls. Grieving, by its very nature, confirms worth. I am worth crying over; my losses matter." — Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow


As our country continues to reel from multiple layers of turmoil, many of us are experiencing past and current trauma and shame triggered within us. Others of us may feel our inner life “shut down” completely in these challenging times. In both cases, the result is often the silencing of our voices, even a withdrawal from life. In this session (6 of 7), Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin reflects on one of Francis Weller's five gates of grief: "The Places That Have Not Known Love," inviting us to turn toward those tender, wounded places within, and engage in a practice of self-compassion, creating the conditions in which grief, forgiveness, and community can pour God's healing waters on our wounded souls and help us find and strengthen our voices and reinhabit our lives more fully.