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The Grace of Letting Go

Ian Davies | British Army

I feel I don’t deserve to feel
The way I do but still it’s real
But when I compare ordeals
With those who really fought.

I stand and look at others’ plight
And see the battles that they fight
Where sleep eludes them every night
And feel like I’m a fraud.

I didn’t see my buddies die
So I can’t help but wonder why
I feel the loss I do inside
And this paint I can’t ignore.

Why is it that I feel this way?
What did I fail to do or say?
Why is this sense of loss so vague?
Please help me understand!

Is it the way I left the sand?
A stretcher case, no strength to stand;
Then somehow feeling less a man
For failing to hold on?

And even though I battled on
For nine more years and felt I’d won,
When everything came crashing down
I was right back there again.

Lord, help me please to figure out.
How to break these chains of guilt and doubt
Give me the strength to do without
This thing I thought was me.

Show me the way to move beyond
The things to which I’m holding on
To turn my heart and head to run
To the future not the past.

Cos I believe that there is hope.
Even in the deepest, darkest lows.
A chance to rise again,
A chance to smile again,
A chance to thrive again
In the grace of letting go.

©  Ian Davies, Cohort 82


Ian Davies served in the British Army for 26 years, rising through the ranks to become an Officer and retiring as Captain. He enlisted in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in 1990 and served in Germany, the UK, Kosovo and Iraq.

Now retired, he is also a keen guitarist, painter and poet.

See more by Ian Davies