Last week I introduced the “Pass the Parcel” game in A Parcel for You – Blossom Tip 38. Here’s one of the loveliest responses, from one of our She Blossoms readers:
“As a Brit who now lives in the US, I can attest to this game. I played Pass the Parcel for about the first ten years of my life. It was very exciting, let me tell you, especially if the gift was small. As a child you could never judge what was under the last layer of paper until it was unwrapped. It definitely revealed those with a competitive spirit; frustration and elation abounded! But I have many happy memories of that game. Thanks for reminding me of those happy times.”
It was my pleasure!
In last week’s She Blossoms article I said I’d share ideas on how to pass your parcel of fear and anxiety to God. You want to trust and believe…but how? What does this look like in daily life, at work, at home when you’re cooking dinner?
How to Pass Your “Parcel of Anxiety” to God
The tricky part of sharing parcel-passing tips is that different things work for different people. For instance, I’m a writer. I love writing my thoughts and feelings — and I especially love writing to Jesus and hearing His response.
But what if you’d rather run than write? What if you’re tired of thinking your thoughts and feeling your emotions…you’d rather escape than dwell on them? Because the truth is that you can linger too long in a toxic swamp of negativity.
Then you must run. Escape — but escape somewhere healthy and good, with people or pets or places that bring life and healing. You know when you’re not doing good things to your body, mind, soul and spirit.
And trust me: The more you do it, the easier and more natural it becomes.
3 Ways I Give My Anxiety to God
The most painful thing I ever experienced was a devastating family estrangement, which I describe in the first chapter of Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back (which will be published in January 2019!). It involved my sister, and left me struggling under the burden of guilt, shame, self-condemnation and self-loathing for a long time.
I refused to give my anxiety — or “pass the parcel” — to God for ten terrible years. What a waste! I’ll never let that happen again.
Here’s what changed:
1. I realized that holding on to parcels of shame, guilt, bitterness and regret is a huge waste of time, energy and emotion. The older I get, the more I realize how little time and energy I have left. I refuse to let those toxic, negative emotions consume my life. I have far better and more interesting ways to spend my time! So I happily pass those heavy parcels over to God.
2. I needed to catch myself ruminating and getting stuck in the past. I started paying attention to my thoughts and feelings. I didn’t realize I was carrying those parcels unnecessarily; I thought it was normal to struggle with the pain and grief of loss. While it’s healthy to grieve loss, it’s unhealthy to ruminate and stay stuck in the past.
3. I learned how to pick up better, healthier parcels. I can’t just give my parcel to God and walk away empty-handed because it jumps right back into my life again. The deceiver — and my own foolishness — loves empty hands and blank minds! The deceiver has lots of lies and pain he wants me to carry. He’ll pass them my way if my hands and brain aren’t otherwise occupied.
The secret isn’t to empty your mind, it’s to fill it.
So what can you pick up instead? I’ll share what works for me in next week’s Blossom Tip — our 40th.
In the meantime, think about things you might fill your mind, hands, and life with. If you were to hand over your parcel of anxiety and fear to God…what would you pick up instead? What would it look and feel like?
With His love,
PS We’re driving from BC to Alberta tomorrow, through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, for my husband’s parents’ 60th wedding anniversary! The 14 hour road trip with two dogs and a writer who can’t sit still for more than an hour is a parcel I’m passing to God :-)
Travel in Faith and Blossom
4 Ways to Calm Travel Anxiety and Fear – What causes anxiety before traveling, and is it normal to feel fear before flying? Travel anxiety is caused by three main factors: 1) a personal disposition to nervousness (internal) ; 2) negative travel experiences in the past (external); and 3) news reports about traveling and flying (external).
How Do You Stop Doubting Yourself as a Writer? Self-doubt brings fear of failure, decreased motivation, and increased anxiety. Doubt also increases general mistrust, which feels real but has no reason. Self-doubt creates worry, nervous disorders, and even paranoia. If you doubt yourself as a writer, you’ll eventually stop writing.
Caring for Elderly Parents? How to Get More Energy – Taking care of your elderly parents requires a surprising amount of energy, time, and resources. If you don’t have energy, you don’t have the patience, compassion or love you need to be a good caregiver. These tips will help increase your energy level and ease the stress of caring for parents who are elderly or in ill health.
How to Stop Stress From Destroying Your Fertility – Stress – especially long-lasting or chronic stress – affects every part of your mind and body. Stress leads to physical inflammation, excess cortisol (stress hormone), and lower fertility levels in both women and men. You can’t avoid stress in life, but you can learn how to stop stressful situations from destroying your ability to conceive.