Put All Your Troubles in a God Jar

My Newest God Jar, January 2011

My Newest God Jar, January 2011

Several years ago, I was feeling down and out about life.  Living each new day was a scary thing.  Terrified of what prospects the future held, I spent many a sleepless night.  Turning a blind eye to the successful celebratory moments of my life, I viewed it instead as an endless succession of failures.  I let negativity and helplessness infuse my world.  And yet, there was still a tiny part of me that longed to hold on to the positive aspects of life.  Just in the nick of time, I was referred to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a book for stifled artists/creatives and that’s where I discovered the God Jar (Chapter 12). 

What’s a God Jar you ask?  Cameron describes it as a container you store your fears, worries, resentments, hopes, wishes and dreams in.  You write these down as brief statements on strips of paper, fold or roll them up and place them in a God Jar thus freeing your mind of them and placing them in God’s hands to deal with.  At the time I found this a bit crazy but a magical way of dealing with things.  Exhausted from drowning in my fears, I embraced the concept of the God Jar.  Believe or not, this simple act of faith in a power beyond mine actually worked.  Not that it cured all my ills, but it resolved enough dilemmas in my life to make me a believer.  With the passage of time, many of my worries, fears and resentments dissolved … some eroded with time; others were resolved by people who serendipitously appeared in my life. When some of my wishes and dreams were realized they seemed like downright miracles!  The God Jar became my saving grace – every year I added more things to it.  At the end of each year, I love to paste all the problems that have gone away or the miracles that have come my way in my journal.  It’s given me hope and renewed my faith in the goodness that can be found in life.  The future doesn’t seem as woeful now.  As well, through its mysterious powers, I began to feel somewhere out there in the universe someone was really listening to me.

Now you may be asking… how do I get me one of those God Jars!?  Well, you may already have one in your cupboard or fridge!  A recycled jam jar can be instantly transformed into one.  Any kind of container will do really.  I bought my first God Jar from Michael’s for $1.69 – a clear ruby-red glass heart-shaped jar.

Collage A God Jar of Your Very Own:

1. Find a clear jar with a flat even surface.
2. Cut out images*, inspirational words, phrases you like (you can use stickers, too).
3. Use clear packing tape to adhere the images/words; after you stick them on give them a final burnish (rub) with a bone folder or your nail to ensure they are secure and to flatten out any bumps.
4.  If you want a real fancy jar, embellish it with artificial sticky-back gems; you can also glue these on with gel medium for a stronger hold.
5. Fill jar with your written: fears, worries, resentments, hopes, wishes and dreams.

* Images can be your own personal symbols or mythological beings; add patterns and textures as well as 3D embellishments like gems.  Words, quotes or significant numbers in your life can become part of the collage as well.

Creating a God Jar is an invitation to magic – it’s a chance to let go of painful baggage and move on.  Do you have a God Jar?  Has it worked its magic for you?  Everyone has a slightly different take on the God Jar.  Here are some other thoughts from: Deborah on Spiritual Anecdotes; Mary Pearl Davis; Kimestry; How to Use a God Jar and The Pathway Chapel.

4 comments to Put All Your Troubles in a God Jar

  • I love this idea, Michelle! Can’t wait to try it. When I first read it, I thought it was “Good Jar”. Sounds like it might be this, too.



    • Michelle

      Elaine, So lovely to hear from you! I’m glad you like the idea and are going to try it. I look forward to knowing how it goes. You must send me a pic of yours, too! Yes, it’s a “good” jar, as well! :) Warm wishes, Michelle

  • Zoraida

    I did something like this when I was studying in college for my teachers certification. I was feeling stressed out all of the time and it seemed that worries just kept coming at me from all around. I started writing them out and putting them into this decorative jar I have on a shelf. After the semester was over I went back to read all my worries, or the wishes I had made during that semester, and found that most of my fears or worries had not come true. I had been worrying over things that never would happen. I suppose it was a God Jar that I had been using all along. Every time I would put one of my worries inside the jar I would feel more relieved. In a way it was like leaving tiny petitions to God in a special mail box. I never thought of gluing them into my journal. I like this idea. The next time I use my God Jar again, I will glue the petitions, or worries into my journal. Thank you Michelle for your inspiring ideas. Wishing you the best, Zoraida.

    • Michelle

      Hi Zoraida, It’s really neat how you intuitively arrived at creating your own God Jar while studying. I can relate to your feeling stressed out while studying in college… while pursuing my post secondary education, I was always such a worry wort… and in the end things worked out very well. I went through some hard times personally and academically in high school and was worried those things would come back to haunt me later on in my studies. Worrying was a way to also keep me on track. But after a while it got to be an obssession which often paralyzed me. I’m glad to hear your God Jar pulled you through! Yes, isn’t it just like God’s personal mailbox — a lovely thought. Placing those wishes of mine that came true in my journal reminded me that God is good. Too often in the past my journals have dealt with the unhappy stuff… I needed to remind myself that miracles exist too — even for me! I was raised us to be full of gloom and doom… to believe that God was out to get us for every bad thing we did for the rest of our lives; the God Jar reminded me the Creator is full of forgiveness and love. I enjoyed your insightful reflections. I’m glad my thoughts were helpful to you. Thanks so much for taking the time to review my blog. Best wishes to you, too! Michelle.

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