Many years ago, when Nagib and I were shopping (what else?) in a local market in Mexico City, we were introduced to “worry dolls”. These are small and colourful dolls that, according to folklore, symbolically remove worries. The concept is that if you cannot sleep because you are worried, you can express your worries to a doll and put the dolls under the pillow. Then you can sleep peacefully and the dolls would carry your worries.
I never used the worry dolls because I never needed to, and there was something about burdening little dolls that did not work for me. This past year, however, I have found that worrying shows up in my mind and brain like an uninvited guest. I find it annoying and quite unconstructive. I can see how it robs me of today’s strength. And often, I find that all my worrying is unnecessary because things get resolved as they will — whether I worried or not. Slowly, I have found a solution that works for me.
It started with a friend who told me about her “God’s Box”. This is a small, red box that she has had for the past 4 years. Each time she feels overwhelmed or needs to ask for help, she will write down her anxiety, worry, request or insecurities and put it in the box for God. She tells me that the sheer act of writing her worries helps her unburden whatever she is feeling and sometimes gives her clarity. Periodically, she will go through her “God’s Box” and has found that every single worry she has put in her box has been resolved; some within a day, some in a month; some in a year. For her, this is a testament of faith, of knowing that there is a higher presence and trusting that power; of knowing that she is not alone.
I am inspired by my friend’s story and have created my own version of “God’s Box.” Each night, I talk to God about 4 things:
– Things I am grateful for that day
– People in my thoughts
– Magical moments
– Stuff I need God’s help with.
This week for instance, amongst other things, I expressed my gratitude for the New York Times insert in the Toronto Star that I look forward to reading every Sunday. I prayed for people I know who are ill and two people I know who passed away this week. For magical moments, I remembered the party we hosted on the weekend where we were surrounded by people we love, and for a wonderful lunch at a friend’s home. I asked for God’s help as I restart my chemo treatment this week.
It all took 10 minutes, and I cannot think of a better way to end the day. Its my sacred time with God and it is a date I choose to keep!