Safety valves

Do you ever get to the point where you feel like exploding?

There are issues which can really make us mad.

Maybe something or someone has touched a nerve.

We feel raw. Wounded. Hurt.

Out of the blue (or so it seems) rage, anger, annoyance or other emotional pain come to the surface.

Feelings rise as steam and we long to vent somehow.

If our nearest and dearest are in range then they may be the unwarranted recipients of our spleen.

Perhaps we need a safe way and place in which to vent our feelings?

A safety valve to allow us to let go without losing full control.

An escape. Outlet.

It may vary greatly depending on the nature, duration and extent of our pain.

And the type of people we are, the resources we have and openings for letting go.

I have found many ways over the years to vent. Not all of them comfortable for others, sad to say.

Over the years, I have tended to rush more eagerly to the phone than the throne of grace.

Counselling gave me the tools to work through pain and see why it was so deep-rooted.

Now, I try to remember that God is always listening, caring, available  and – most important of all – loves us unconditionally.

Loved ones, friends and family can help us up to a point, but only God can truly heal, restore and make us whole again.

The poem below describes how those deep emotions can affect us and how I have found some help and release from mine.

Safety valve

Sometimes our pain

gets buried

deep inside

locked up


in a safe place

where we hide

our true selves

from prying eyes

yet wounds will

fester when left

unattended over years

and seep their poison

through our systems

releasing more

anxiety and fears

We need an outlet

safety valve to

vent within constraints

a catching-place

for leaking holes

where what is

heard is veiled

yet has intent

I express myself

through poetic lament

to pour forth

words as water

releasing mercy drops

that may hit

the spot for other

thirsty souls


This poem is part of a guest blog post on my friend, Barry Pearman’s site where I’m honoured and delighted to be sharing my thoughts on how poetry helps my mental health. I’d love you to come on over and read the rest there.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

As Summer segues into Autumn/Fall, we may experience a sea-change of emotions, new beginnings and opportunities arising, as well as a shift in the weather patterns.

It can feel like a chance to start over again, with the shiny new inviting us to embrace our future with anticipation.

Changes also bring with them departures from the way things have been, which can feel a little scary.

This is the period when children commence school and those who have left school stretch their wings seeking unexplored pastures.

All of which can bring a bitter-sweet mix of emotions when we let go of the old in order to embrace the new.

Seeing a child off to nursery, school, college, university, or the world of work for the first time can feel painful, even as we celebrate their emerging independence and new-found freedom, especially if it is the youngest member of the family finally growing up in various ways.

You may be in that situation now, or able to look back and see how well you coped with it afterwards.

The poem below was written at such a time as this:

‘Letting go’


Love held him tight

as hand clasped hand

I would not let him go

I was the voice of reason, wisdom,

watching my seed grow

Yet time marched on

and loosed the bond

slowly gathering pace –

he strained for independence

to run in his own race

Now still the rock

on which he leans

crumbling yet holding fast –

my child grows wise

for future years

while I cling

to the past



Note:This poem was previously published in the anthology ‘Individual Voices’ in March 2003 and in ‘Celebrations -15 Years of The People’s Poetry’ anthology in November 2005 ©JoyLenton All rights reserved


How well do you cope with change?

Have you found ways to embrace the new whilst letting go of the old?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you.