My God Jar
Too Long Didn't Read: Take a Jar or a Box and some scraps of paper. Now take your worries, fear, anxiety, hopes, dreams, deepest desires and scribble them on the scraps of paper. Fold them up and drop them in the Jar. You've now got a "God Jar" (or if you don't believe in God try a "Good orderly direction" Jar.) Repeat any time your fear and anxiety start to take over or as a daily ritual.
If you’ve been around recovery rooms for a little while you may have heard some old-timer say “put it in your God box”. I’d heard it several times over the years and even had a couple of sponsors suggest something like it. I would file it in my mind next to “keep a gratitude journal” and “get on your knees every morning and night to pray”. It was information that seemed like it might work for some people but I didn’t see myself trying it any time soon.
As an aside- I have many a gratitude journal started that never stuck and usually have some gratitude practice going (right now it’s texting a gratitude list to a group of women in recovery). And there was a time where I kept a pillow next to my bed so I would get on my knees first thing in the morning to connect with my higher power on purpose… Now that practice has morphed into what I’m about to share with you mixed with writing and meditation… I use that file folder in my mind a lot more than I realize.
Back to my God Jar.
I’ve shared about my low time in September 2020 but if you’re new to me here’s a summary. I got very sick in July. After 8 weeks of desperation I was in a dark place. I begged my Higher Power to help, basically- “Something has to change. I can’t go on like this. Please help.“ Help came in the form of the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. At some point in her course she suggests a God Box. (I tried to go back and find it to reference the page number here, I couldn't find it -my apologies to Ms Cameron). Since I’d heard it in the rooms of recovery for so many years and I was experiencing the pain of desperation, I was finally ready to try it in earnest.
I didn’t have a box. But I did have a large jar.
I had recently gone through a bunch of my grandmothers old art things that she had left behind when she died that were such a gift- they woke up my creativity and gave me a connection to her that has been priceless. She had saved these old calendar pages with pastel colors and pretty pictures and quotes. I saved a few and then threw out the rest thinking it was cute that she saved them but what was I going to do with decades old calendar pages. Something stirred in me a few minutes later and I snatched most of them back out of the trash. I tucked them away with no idea as to what I would do with them. The God Box suggestion came not 2 weeks later. The papers were the perfect size to scribble notes to my higher power on, fold up, and drop in my jar. A few days ago I used up these scraps and now am using strips of cut up origami paper gifted to me by a dear friend.
I scribble my fear, my hope, my dreams, my worry, my secrets, my love- everything that comes up in my writing that I want to turn over to my Higher power but I don’t quite know HOW. As the days pass my jar fills and I see the beautiful colorful little prayers and it makes my heart happy. I turn over the stuff and the stuff in the jar decorates my space... (if you choose plain paper or you don't have a see through container you don't get the pretty part but you still get the heart happy part from knowing you turned over the crap).
Here’s my morning ritual:
I write my morning pages.
I say my morning prayer.
I sit quiet for a moment and pull out a few scraps of paper and scribble my notes to Higher power.
I fold them up.
I open my jar, thank my HP for taking these fears and hopes and dreams from me, and I drop them in.
I go about my day, free to move on to taking action and the Universe can work out the problems while I get out of the way.
This will work even if you don’t believe in God or a higher power. This is a way to release anxiety and worry. You can name your God jar or box G.O.D. as in “Good Orderly Direction”. You can turn over your worry or plans or ideas to your deeper intuition and your higher self/ subconscious to process while you go about your day. This physical action of surrender is helpful in processing stuff for me.
Real life example...
Today I scribbled the following (see picture)
- "cancel culture" and Fox News slander of Conscious Kid, What action should I take? (Conscious kid posted of the misinformation being spread about them by Fox News and I can't get it out of my head, go check out their post and join me in praying about what action we should take in stopping the spread of misinformation and racism)
-Amends, help me to be right sized, (you'll probably see that amends here soon <3)
-Racism- help me to do my part fighting today
-fatigue, nausea, headache, tumor (this is a greatest hits in the god Jar I'm afraid)
-Book (the dark one just says book because Higher power knows what's up)
I don't want to give the impression that putting these things in the jar takes them away or makes them any less hard or real (obviously systemic racism doesn't disappear when I put it in the God Jar)- but they are a way to symbolize surrender and have a prayer ritual if you struggle with anxiety and morbid reflection like I do. And they release my obsessive thinking to let HP (higher power) work in me so I can be of service and effective and not just a blob of worry and anxiety.
Oh and PS If you choose a glass jar and you have cats, put your jar out of the way of your cat’s path to the window by the bird feeder. Mine now resides on the floor by my writing desk as seen in the photos below. I can stil admire the beauty of the prayers and my cat’s path to the window is clear.