Although some may criticise Sara Teasdale’s poetry as being relatively unsophisticated, I find it emotionally evocative and poignant. Take her ‘Let It Be Forgotten’ poem: it may well be short, but as with all good poetry, it makes one stand back for a second, and to think………..
In my previous post, I was wrestling with the realities of ‘letting go’, reflecting on the pain of letting someone or something go their own way. Acknowledging the welter of emotions, and indeed the intrinsic desire to hold on, at any cost, is the first step.
Then there is the actual process of letting go. I sometimes encourage people to imagine those emotions, in their minds eye, written on a piece of paper, plucked out of the air and placed in a slow flowing river. Watching those words and associated emotions drift away can be a powerful experience.
But what about forgetting? We can be beholden to images and experience of the past, the things that coalesce as memories – of laughter, but also of hurt; the memory of being misunderstood, or judged, make a seemingly indelible mark.
Yet, despite the power of the past, those of us who embrace the Christianity, are often gently brought back to the fact that our faith is not about looking back, but about living in the present with an eye to the future. Consider Isaiah 43:18-19:
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”.
Psychologically, forgetting is problematic, but spiritually, it makes sense. With one foot in the quicksand of the past, our spiritual growth is moribund, but with the foothold of faith we can press on and be the person God has created us to be. Proverbs 3:5-6 is the roadmap:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.