On a note, I write down the name of the person about whom I am so distressed or angry, or describe the situation that is killing me, with which I am so toxically, crazily obsessed, and fold the note up, stick it in the box and close it. You might have a brief moment of prayer, and it might come out sounding like this: “Here. You think you’re so big? Fine. You deal with it. Although I have a few more excellent ideas on how best to proceed.” Then I agree to keep my sticky mitts off the spaceship until I hear back.
I’m a big fan of Anne Lamott and am currently reading her book, “Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers”. I almost literally gasped when I read this part about what she refers to as a “God box”:
I instantly knew that I was meant to read that. And that I needed my own “God box”.
I’ve struggled with a situation for a few years now and have tried everything I know to fix it. I’ve spent many a sleepless night and shed many a tear. I’ve sought the advice of a few close friends whom I felt could be objective and honest. They keep telling me to “let it go”. And I know they are right. I just didn’t know how to actually do that. Until I read about the “God box”.
I don’t think this will be some sort of magic fix but the physical act of putting the problem in a box and giving it to God feels like a positive step for me. The box will remain on my desk as a frequent reminder that this is no longer my problem.
In the wake of grief over the death of my uncle I had an epiphany. I needed to mourn the loss of that other relationship. I was a hospice nurse so I know all about the stages of grief and the importance of allowing oneself time to mourn. I just hadn’t considered that those stages don’t only apply to a physical death.
I hadn’t meditated formally in a little while but felt the need to do so yesterday. I pulled up my favorite resource and guess what the topic was? Yep. Grief. Think “someone” was trying to tell me something? I sobbed through the entire guided meditation. I cried for my uncle but I also cried for that other loss. The acute grief for my uncle brought a deeper well of sorrow bubbling to the surface and I allowed it to wash over me.
I know the pain won’t immediately recede. That’s not the way grief works. It comes in a series of waves and sometimes you get blindsided by one. But I trust that the waves will diminish over time. I remain open to the possibility of restoration but for now I feel a sense of closure. And peace.