“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3

I’ve been listening via Zoom to coaching sessions tailored for advanced coaches in the method of Internal Family Systems. It is fascinating to hear the way in which these master coaches gently lead their willing clients with kindness and compassion toward all their seemingly disconnected, or undesirable inward parts. 

I watch as the coaches gently lead them to accept, welcome and listen to what these “undesirables” are trying to communicate to the person. What is the pain trying to communicate with you? What is the anger trying to tell you is out of balance? And on and on they wade into the water of a person’s inner life, in an effort to heal and integrate all of their parts. 

Watching and listening to these coaches has been extremely healing for me, especially their use of compassion to the ugly parts. I was especially curious with one coach as he invited his client to ask him any question he wanted, and so the client asked the coach, “How are you grieving these days? What is your approach to your grief?” To which the coach responded without hesitation, “Well, right now I am not grieving anything, I have nothing to grieve. Would you like to ask me a different question?” I was stunned by his response. 

Nothing to grieve? Wow. Is there such a place in a wholly integrated life that a person would have seasons where they are not grieving? I’d like to think so. I think that’s partly what this scripture today is communicating, and maybe what Jesus meant when he invited us to a life of overflowing joy right in the dark middle of our everyday life. 

Prayer: Joyful One, how do you do it? How do you see everything in the world, and every person with all their issues, and remain, well, God? Peaceful, kind, compassionate, joyful and ever-present God. I’m relieved that you are God, and I am not. I open myself to receive your joy today with the possibility of releasing grief. Go with me today and teach me your ways of seeing the world.