Two boxes,Learning to let go
The Way of the Witch

I have in my hands two boxes,
Which the Goddess gave me to hold.
She said, " Put all your sorrows in the black box,
And all your joys in the gold."

I heeded Her words, and in the two boxes,
Both my joys and my sorrows I stored,
But though the gold became heavier each day,
The black was as light as before.

In curiosity, I opened the black,
I wanted to find out why,
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole,
Through which my sorrows had fallen.

I showed the hole to the Goddess, and mused,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be!"
She smiled a gentle smile and said,
"My child, they're all here with me."

I asked the Goddess, why She gave me the boxes,
Why the gold and the black with the hole?
"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go."

Author Unknown
Blessings on the unknown hand

A friend sent me this some time back and it moved me very much. We all get things in our in box,
all the time and some of it very profound indeed, but this one I stopped to think about
what it really meant to me. And the hard lessons I have learned about myself,
thanks to teachers along the way, and in my own Year and a day.

I know, I have many
pages that deal with this idea and others like it, from so many angles,
because the problem of our own failure to live happy, creative lives, is so commonplace.

As all too often, we fail to count up the ways we are Goddess blessed,
and keep in mind instead all the things that go wrong and cause us pain !

Why do we do this ? Keep and mull over and ponder, as if it were precious, things that cause us pain ?

As a race ,you would think we coined the term masochistic, just for ourselves alone
as we all do this one to ourselves, some of us, near daily.

Again I beg the question of why ?

Well , we have to do it at least once when something hurts us, in order to know what happened,
so that it doesn't happen again. Which is what we should be doing, it's the act of a rational mind.
Then once we know, drop it into the black box and let it go.

But that requires only one good go around from all the angles and see what occurred and
how much of it, is our own doing and if it can be prevented in the future?

A ha' you say " but I don't know why this thing happened to me"
which is why I keep thinking about it. But are you really ?

Think of that one carefully before you dismiss it.

Most of the time, if we are honest with ourselves,
this is a lie we tell ourselves, we are not thinking of the ways it went wrong to figure out prevention
and then forget it, what we are really doing is feeling sorry for ourselves that
something bad happened to us, something unfair, unpleasant, supply your own adverb.

We get a sort of dark satisfaction out of it, " we have a reason to sorrow" we are therefore,
deserving of sympathy, and extra consideration by others.

We patch the hole in the black box.

The only times where this makes any sense for any amount of time,
is in the event of grief over a death or physical pain, which also has some built in limits.

For just about anything else, especially for things you could have perhaps prevented,
you are just milking misfortune for the benies you get from others for being in pain .

" What ya mean benies ? What benefit is there to suffering ? "

Simple, the "benefits" can be many, If one is in anguish, you get to get off all kinds of things,
work slacks off, people stay out of your face and tip toe around confrontations with you,
friends go out of their way to do nice things for you, family tries to help you etc.
Doctors fall all over themselves trying to treat you for depression.

If you think about it, this way, the idea of being miserable and depressed, starts to look pretty good.

In fact, getting over it and getting better could be seen as counter productive, as all of a sudden
the world starts up again, and we are expected to get on with it, and all the extra help, stops.

We learn this as children, that if we feel bad enough the world will come to our rescue.
Which, for a child works, a cry brings someone to make it all better. And some of us
never unlearn this. We keep trying the impossible, which is the childish belief,
that if we suffer enough, someone will come and do something about the problem.

It "feels" like we are doing some intense work about the " problem" when in fact,
all we are doing is feeling bad about it, not doing anything about it. But the inner child
keeps expecting the response we got at age 5, which is, cry enough and someone will fix it.

And, well meaning persons try to do just that, as none of us likes to see another hurt,
until that is, they all get tired of it and stop trying to help, once they realize that no amount of help,
ever seems to really help. There is always something else, another sorrow, another crisis.

It's fairly easy to get into the rut of being forever miserable over something,
in fact, it can become such a habit, that we will go so far as to invent wrongs or make mountains outa molehills,
in order to stay the maligned one and be legitimately miserable,
going from person to person, to keep the benefits coming.

We have all seen this in any Coven, there is always at least one member
who delights in "chewing old soup" and will finally try the understanding of one
member after another, until everyone is tired of it and boots them out, for their refusal to grow up.
Which the person, often then repeats with the next coven who will have them. :(

This sounds nothing short of insane doesn't it ?

Now, do most people even realize that they are doing this ? NO
Which is why we are spared the insanity plea for all of humanity :)

Ok what does a reasonable person do about this situation ?

First off, recognize it for what it is, and pull up on our own leash
when we find ourselves on the pain merry go round and say
" What is making me so sorrowful ?"

And once you have identified that, then you have to ask ok,

"Can I do anything about it ? "

The answer is always " Yes" no matter what else you may think or do about it,
because of the one thing you can control ,YOU and how you respond to it.

We often can't change what has happened,  as something outside ourselves and our control
may be to " blame" for our sorrow. But we can control how much we allow ourselves
to feel bad about it. In other words, we have to learn to let go of the hurt and the pain,
no matter where it came from, and most certainly refuse to reap dark "benefit" from it.

There are many rituals that have been created over the years, that we on the Path can do
that help us, let go and get on with our lives. Our real lives, the ones we try and spend
to the benefit of mankind and that includes ourselves most of all. To reap the many blessings
that the Great Mother provides us, everyday of our lives.

How much good can we do our fellows if we are wallowing in self pity ?
Not much, to be sure. One can waste years and years doing this unproductive round robbin
of hurt, and misery, in fact, unless we choose to get off the ride, it can waste our entire life.

The Goddess did not put us here to be unhappy, and we can't do our part of the Great work
if we are miserable, so hence the black box, the means to let go, the ability to say

" Mother this hurts, can you help me to let go ?"

And she will, most happily, as she wants to see all of her children happy and productive
living lives that have meaning and create beauty, no matter what else is going on.

There is no place on the path for avoidable pain,
there is no reason for a walker of the way, to suffer one moment more than they choose to.

As it is a choice, we can hurt and hash and re-hash our pains, making the black box full
or we can let them go and go do something better
while filling the gold box with our joy over our many blessings.

Which do you choose to do ?