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  • Writer's pictureshelisloterbeek

Remember Gently

There are secrets held inside

Secrets not mine to tell

And yet contain heaviness

Swirling tentacles in the gut

Taking up residence in a knee, a joint

Secreting grief, anguish and pain

Residing, intensity fading

against the day to day

Until startled back into movement

By a word, a conversation, a scene

Bursting through thick flesh and scab

holding back the grinding pain.

Turning, with arms studded

Sharp rocks and thorns

Touching outer layers

Numb from protecting

Ripping causing life

To flow again


As we near the end of the year most people will take even just a few minutes to reflect over the year. Some will even make resolutions based on their reflections (I am not one of those people).

But as you reflect, I would ask that you remember gently. Be gracious to yourself.

I am a huge fan of reflection, especially daily reflection (I'm sure I'll post on that soon and the link will be inserted here when it is ready). However, this year I begged my husband not to recap 2019. Really. I knew it would be coming, so back in the fall I told him I would not be participating in the reflection process. There was too much pain. Too many tears left to shed. Too many things I didn't want to know the whole truth about. And I knew in order to "recap" all of those things would need to be lifted out and felt and sat in for awhile.

I thought we were doing pretty well in our agreement. Even the really tough thing that I thought we had given enough time and thought and healing to, which we just referred to as the "thing that would remain nameless" was being left alone. And while I resign myself to mitigate any kind of circumstances and my very meager television watching to "The Great British Baking Show" and ridiculous Hallmark-esque Christmas movies (yes, all year), I trusted my husband as he picked a movie he wanted to watch. And, well you can tell where this is going.

There was a scene. A scene that tore up one of those "things" - the "thing that would remain nameless". And of course, there was no more burying it. It was already up. It had already burst through the scab and scar that I thought could contain it for eternities to come. So it was the opportunity to discuss all the questions, shed the tears and realize that perhaps it wasn't time to lay the "thing" to rest yet. There was more to feel. An opportunity to envelop us both in grace.

So my prayer for you, is that you would remember gently. Be gracious to yourself as you journey. "Things" don't need to be packaged up tightly, labeled 2019 and put away at the end of the year. Give yourself the space to grow through them. If you need someone to talk to, but feel it's not yours to tell find someone who has a confidentiality agreement, a therapist or a spiritual director.

**some secrets aren't meant to be kept at all if someone is talking about harming themselves or someone else and the best thing you can do is to let a professional know.

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Beth Allen
Beth Allen
Dec 29, 2019

I so needed to hear/read/ingest this dear sister. I too am very glad to see 2019 gone ("Don't let the doorknob hit ya on the butt on the way out, 2019") but have been feeling like I have to close that door when the calendar page turns because, well, that's the way our world works. Get over it, pull up your big girl pants. But who am I short-changing for the chance to walk alongside me in grief and redemption of regrets? Wonderful piece, Sheli.

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