You Don’t Have to Feel Guilty for Feeling

It’s okay to feel discouraged sometimes.
It’s okay to cry.
It’s okay to feel your heart break.
It’s okay to ask, “Why?”
It’s okay to stand and it’s okay to kneel.
It’s okay to just sit in it for a while.
It’s okay to feel whatever you feel.
You don’t have to feel guilty for feeling.
You don’t have to fight it. You don’t have to run.
Just know that the sun will rise again
and show you all that you’ve won.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love.”
-Mary Baker Eddy

Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

What Remains

It’s dark outside, and cold,
and the rain is on the offensive.
Last summer I craved the rain –
I missed the sound of gentle pattering
on the roof, and the smell of clean
green fields after a cooling drizzle.
So I guess I should be grateful
for this rain.
But I just feel drenched inside and out,
soggy-headed, and worn down by the
relentless downpour – the watery refrain.

My heart is low. My instinct wants me
to jolly myself along – put in a funny
movie and laugh my way out of this pain.
But another voice tells me it’s okay
to feel this way – to just sit in this
and feel whatever I’m feeling
and accept it – maybe learn something
from it. It will pass – what I’m feeling,
and the rain.
And, after it’s gone, what’s eternal
will remain.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

And It’s Okay to Feel That Way

I’m feeling sad tonight. Discouraged and sad.
And it’s okay to feel that way.
It’s okay to feel bad.
Sometimes I just have to sit in it, you know?
Just let myself feel what I feel
and learn what I need to learn, and grow.
There’s no battle I need to win here,
nothing to overcome,
no other place I need to go,
but right where I am.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell

Feeling “Sehnsucht”

Sehnsucht. Isn’t that a great word?! There’s something kind of soft and gentle and feminine about the first syllable, and that last syllable sounds like something a salty-tongued handyman might shout as he crushes his thumb with a misplaced hammer. It sounds like what it is, really – sweet and painful.

My friend, Charly, introduced me to the word “sehnsucht” for the first time yesterday. I was trying to describe how I was feeling – I said I wasn’t feeling sad, exactly, but that it seemed like lately life has become one long series of good-byes – of loss and separation and endings. I said that I wish I could be with all those people I love – those who have passed on, and those who live far away. I wish I could go on one more hike with Moz and Dad. Visit with Aunt Junie and cousin Julie and cousin Skip again, hear Grandma play the piano, give real hugs to all my friends and family scattered around the globe, and feel their hugs back. And this is when Charly gifted me with the word – “sehnsucht.” Here’s part of what Wikipedia says about “sehnsucht”: “It has been referred to as ‘life’s longings’; or an individual’s search for happiness while coping with the reality of unattainable wishes. Such feelings are usually profound, and tend to be accompanied by both positive and negative feelings.”

Haven’t we all felt these yearnings for… I don’t know… something more? Not for more material stuff, but for more heart-stuff – more understanding maybe, or more patience or wisdom or kindness or love?

Maybe these yearnings have a purpose. Maybe they are a part of what gives us empathy for our fellow beings. Maybe they help impel us towards “peace on earth” and “good will to man” – towards generosity and compassion and honesty. Maybe they help us grow and rise higher in our understanding of “God” – of Life, Truth, and Love.

And if that’s true, then bring on the “sehnsucht”!

photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell

photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell


Passages from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy –

Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man.

Finite man cannot be the image and likeness of the infinite God. A mortal, corporeal, or finite conception of God cannot embrace the glories of  limitless, incorporeal Life and Love. Hence the unsatisfied human craving for something better, higher, holier, than is afforded by a material belief in a physical God and man.

        Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Him; but the longing to be better and holier, expressed in daily watchfulness and in striving to assimilate more of the divine character, will mould and fashion us anew, until we awake in His likeness.