The Act of Surrender

Someone told me about the concept of a God Box a long time ago. I don’t even remember when I first heard of it or who told me. I heard about the concept long before I really needed one. A God Box is a tool to help me surrender those things I can’t change. I write down the things that I keep obsessing about and ritualistically “give them to God” by putting them in my God Box.

I looked for the right box for a long time. I just never found anything that grabbed me. One day at the Pink Palace Arts Fair, I found a potter who had made this heart shaped box with a cross on it. It was natural-looking with its earth tones, heart-shaped, and it just felt like my God Box. I brought it home, and it sat empty for awhile. I knew I had things to surrender, but I couldn’t do it just yet. But, when it got bad enough, when I was hurting enough, that little box was there, patiently waiting to do its work.

The hardest thing I ever let go of was my second marriage. It wasn’t so much because of the man. It was because of fear. The biggest fears I had back then were of being unlovable, being alone, being single and being rejected. They were all deep-seated fears related back to a lifetime of hurt. For some reason, I had this silly notion that if I stayed in this marriage, and if this man could accept and love me as I was, I would finally prove to myself that I was lovable. Today, I thought it might be interesting to look into the God Box and see what I was thinking five years ago when I started giving these things to God. Equally interesting would be to see how they have been resolved and/or forgotten.

So, I took the lid off the God Box and started to unfold these tiny pieces of paper with my handwriting scrawled on them. They are all about grief and fear of some sort. There is grief about the passing of my youth. Several reveal the sadness about what happened in my marriage and my fears for my husband’s health. There was one about sadness for a waiter that was really sweet at J. Alexander’s. I wrote about my fears around my anxiety and insomnia, what other people thought about me and what my ex might be telling our old friends. There was one about my job and whether or not I liked it. There was fear about my inability to to sustain a romantic relationship and fear about my future financial security. I still have some of these fears but most of them have gone away completely except for the memory of how debilitating they were at the time. I remember obsessing and crying over all of these fears until I could finally write them down and put them in that God Box. The duplicates are reminders of how I kept having to surrender over and over again.

What I love about my God Box is it sits on my altar in my house with all of my other meaningful treasures. My altar is in my yoga space, and it is on the mantel of the sealed coal burning fireplace. I have a lot of meaningful treasures on the altar, but the God Box is the one treasure that really contains my biggest fears and insecurities. The rest of the things on my altar are healing or connecting or symbolic of special relationships in my life. Some are hopeful or are remembrances of spiritual work that I’ve done. But, the God Box is the container for the pain, for the hurt, for the loss that I just couldn’t relinquish at some point. It contains it so that I can move forward in my life. It contains it so that I can make room for the healing and the hope that the rest of my life and world bring to me. It is symbolic of God holding my fears and my grief and containing them, containing me, until I can really, truly surrender those fears and grief.

How do you let go of things?

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50 Something single woman in Michigan who loves the outdoors, people, running and hiking.

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