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Photo by: Brus Lopez

Loss and Grief: An IFS Lens 

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Rumi

"It is necessary while in darkness, to know that there is a light somewhere, to know that in oneself, waiting to be found, there is a light."  James Baldwin 1964 Nothing Personal 


This beautiful reflection of trees in the water reminds me of the homecoming we experience when what we feel on the inside and what we show to others is congruent. Inevitably, though, a strong wind will come, messing up this perfect scene. Just as the turn of a kaleidoscope brings new pieces to the surface to form a new design, life constantly gives us different inner and outer realities to respond or react to, explore and, hopefully, befriend. In this rhythm and through these experiences, we grow, struggle, heal and learn to love.


However, some life experiences feel less like a strong wind and more like a tornado, ripping up everything in its path. These derail our sense of home, our capacity to meet and solve problems and our sense of identity or who we thought we were.


We each have unique ways of protecting ourselves from disappointment, loss and grief. Parts spring into emergency roles we learned as children to help us manage, control, avoid, soothe or push away overwhelming feelings and needs. Together you and I befriend these activated parts using the IFS model. We hear and validate their pain until your own inner wisdom and compassion has space, and the permission of your protective system, to come on board. In the homecoming that this model provides, your deepest hurts can heal. This compassionate core, which IFS calls Self, has all the time in the world to be with you. In this Presence, we gently unravel the strands of your story, past and present, so they can be rewoven into a new chapter and new journey home.

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