release: the pain and the gain of letting go

release - the pain and the gain of letting go - birds freed from a cage

These strange times we are in call for an eventual release, don’t they? Getting back to the world of school and work, perhaps. Returning to our usual activities in a new normality we’re still uncertain about.

I’ve been thinking about life’s many moments of small release, adjusting to our losses, a necessary  moving on and moving forward, including the great letting go we will all experience one day.

When the time comes

When the time comes, let it go,
learn to release each care,
each sorrow like so much
wheat chaff blowing in the wind,
being carried who knows where
or who knows when.

Do not cling too tightly to life
as if it were all you had
because a greater life, a better
love, a softer peace exists,
waiting beyond the blue
with its arms open for you.

Seek to live as truly, fully
and freely as you can,
while you stay mindful
of its transitory state,
of its preciousness,
its wonder, colour and grace.

Learn to love the sacred
ordinariness each day offers
you like a gift,
holding it close but not too
close, knowing it will end
swift as sun sinks vermilion
and a curtain of dark descends.

When the time comes
try to be prepared, ready
to release, as you thank
each gift, each person, each thing
that has meant something
for being part of your life.

Before it happens,
make sure that you get
to notice it all,
everything good, bad, indifferent,
because it has helped
to shape and form
the person you have become.

In the early years
you can be forgiven
for your nonchalance
and insouciance, but not
as you gather to your breast
loved ones, special relationships.

Later on, when the dandelion
clock is looking a little
threadbare, pared back,
let yourself reflect
on what has gone, what has
passed to bring you to Now.

As time elapses, seek to hold
lightly to it all,
to anything you value
and all you don’t
because they all count, they all
add up to sand in the hourglass.

So when the time comes
remind yourself of this:
how you have lived,
how you have loved,
and try to forgive yourself
if you think it isn’t enough.

Give yourself grace for being
a flawed human being
who is a delightful mix
of pulled together and mess,
because you’re learning to grow
before you can let go.

Finally, release all your worries,
concerns and stress, let them
tumble off your burdened back
and feel the weight
of your soul’s sheer emptiness.

As the hours nudge closer
to the time you half expect,
even as you look back
with a few regrets, may you
be light as air, bright and happy,
because from hereon? You are free.
© joylenton

release - when the time comes poem excerpt (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Our faith journey is a continual process of letting go of our extraneous stuff and holding tight to the hand of God. We release what doesn’t serve us well and receive the best He has in mind for us.

It takes wisdom and courage to let go but we don’t have to do it alone. God’s help is only a breath, a prayer away. Can I pray for you today, my friend? A load shared is a load lifted… ❤

release - letting go prayer (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

6 thoughts on “release: the pain and the gain of letting go

  1. DearJoy,
    Your words are flowing in my heart bringing such tears today. Just when I think that I have learned what it means to
    ” let it go,
    learn to release each care,”

    the Lord shows me more that I have still clutched tightly to myself. It is a daily learning of this:

    “Give yourself grace for being
    a flawed human being
    who is a delightful mix
    of pulled together and mess,
    because you’re learning to grow
    before you can let go.”

    Thank you for these precious thoughts today. I echo your prayer today, and ask the Lord to help me hold my arms open also. I want to release and receive from Him. This chronic Illness journey has uncovered in me so much that has needed to be released in my heart to Him. So I am thankful for the process, and so thankful for your friendship and support along the way. Love and Hugs and Blessings to you dear friend. xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, oh how I echo your struggles and heart’s desire! I need to pay attention to those things as well. As so often happens, God ministers to me first through the words He gives me to share. Although I wrote the poem in a generic sense, it definitely has personal application as well. Releasing is rather like spiritual transformation and growth. They are all ongoing, continuous learning processes we cannot complete in our time on earth. But we needn’t lose heart. God knows how much progress we still need to make, yet He is with us every step of the way, urging us on with loving encouragement.

      I’m also grateful for your friendship and support on the chronic illness journey. We can learn together, right? When one falls down the other is there to lend a hand and lift up in prayer if not in person. Well done for getting through the longest poem I’ve ever published here! Quite a marathon effort, yes?! I took a risk with it but I’m glad it spoke to you, dear friend. Love, blessings and hugs! xoxo 💜

  2. It’s my Mum’s birthday today. She would have turned 66. Reading this today of all days is such a gift. Thank you, Joy.

    It is such a beautiful poem and expresses so much of what I watched my Mum live out the last few weeks before she went to heaven.

    Oh may I learn to do this more and more:

    Seek to live as truly, fully
    and freely as you can,
    while you stay mindful
    of its transitory state,
    of its preciousness,
    its wonder, colour and grace.

    • Dear Anna, what a day full of poignancy and rich in memories this must be for you. I reach your Mum’s milestone birthday later this year and it seems like a slide into seniority in many ways. But it also feels like I haven’t yet completed all I long to achieve, and still too young to be ready depart this world. I’m deeply honoured and grateful for your sweet presence here and the way God has used this poem to speak to you at such a time as this. I might write the words but their living out remains as much a challenge for me as it might be for anyone else. Please know I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Sending hugs and blessings of rest, peace and love to you, my friend. xo ❤️💜

  3. Dear Joy, thank you so very much for these beautiful words of prayer, poetry and wisdom. There is so much insight in what you say and so much on which to reflect and pray. God bless you dear friend and may His Light shine upon you and be gracious unto you – always. With love xx

    • Dear Elizabeth, I’m so glad you have found these words helpful to reflect on. This one isn’t typical of most of my poetry, but the lockdown is unleashing longer, more reflective poems than usual. I wasn’t sure if I should share any of them yet because of their length, but a holy nudge suggested otherwise! Thank you so much for your generous appreciation and beautiful blessing. It means a lot to me. Blessings and love. xo

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