Six months ago I joined a support group. I never thought I would be that type--support groups were for pitiful people, I thought. Surely I'm not that kind of person? But after a rough stretch in November, I joined a group my therapist had been nudging me towards for months. And, surprise, surprise, it's amazing! Turns out, a group of people going through the same thing as you *may* have insight into your problems?!?
Since it's a support group based around the 12 steps, there is a lot of talk about "a higher power of one's own choosing." The last six months have brought up a lot of spiritual turmoil for me, and so talking about a higher power feels fraught. I'm not sure what I believe. I know that I no longer believe in the vengeful God of my childhood, but I'm not sure where to go from here. In the meantime, going through a 12-step process means admitting my own powerlessness right and left.
Prayer is a useful concept because it allows you the feeling of having some control over your life. Being out of control is scary. But I'm not sure I can believe in a God that answers prayer; if such a God exists He certainly seems to answer the prayers of the rich and powerful at much higher rates.
Yet the feeling that there is no one in control is still anxiety-inducing.
Enter "the god box." This perky craft project is a repository for all those lingering questions and things that I need to admit my powerlessness over. I can't control the choices that others make, I can't control whether my novel will sell. I write these things down, put them in the god box, and after that, each time the worry comes dancing through my head, I remember that I have decided to let that go.
If God has corporeal form, it is probably as a black transwoman, but I chose a picture of Maria Bamford for my God box because I can relate to her. She, too, is a mentally ill support group veteran. This image is from her Facebook series, "Ave Maria Bamford."
You can pick whatever image of God works best for you: be it Michelangelo's God reaching out to touch Adam or a slice of pepperoni pizza. Whatever feels more powerful than you at the time!
Have you made a god box? Do you want to? What does your higher power look like?