This leads me to reflect on the symbol of the Worry Basket in the Native American cultures. It is known that in some Native American cultures, you were not allowed to bring your worries into the household of another person. It was considered improper to enter with negativity within your spirit. So many homes had “worry baskets” outside their homes and you would place your worries in the basket to rest before you entered the home.
Some Native Americans had Burden Baskets which hung by a strap across their foreheads and down their backs. The baskets were in cone shape – probably a prototype to the first backpack! Again, after collecting items of foods, etc., for her family, the woman would hang the basket by the entrance of their home. Then if visitors came, they waited outside for an invitation to come in; if they were not invited in, they left not offended, but understanding that it was not a good time for a visit. If they were invited in, they were expected to deposit their troubles in the basket so the visit would be pleasant and the conversation would not be mixed with bad feelings.
There are also Worry Dolls from Guatemala. It is said that if children could not sleep because they held worries or fears, then they were given Worry Dolls to tell their worries to and then the dolls were put under their pillows. The dolls would hold their worries and carry them away. Sometimes the parents would come and remove the dolls - to which the child upon rising the next morning would be refreshed because the dolls had taken their worries away.
This is a time of great worry in our world, in our families, and deep within our Selves – unrest in politics, governments, serious issues from our planet, such as, global warming, lack of resources for peoples because of droughts, famines, fires, floods - poverty, scarcity of food and water, drug wars, violence, and so much more – to name only a few of the uncertainties, anxieties and fears that cause many of us to be “wobbly” within because of worry.
Recently I heard someone speak about God’s sacred heart. Maybe this is God’s burden basket that is offered moment by moment to all of us to place our worries, fears, and concerns within for God to hold for us – And while they are held within God’s loving heart, they are transformed. We just have to keep learning how to let go of the control and grow in our trust, hope, mercy, and love
Two Days We Should Not Worry (Author Unknown)
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is Yesterday with all its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone forever.
The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and its poor performance; Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet to be born.
This leaves only one day, Today. Any person can fight the battle of just one day. It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities Yesterday and Tomorrow that we break down.
It is not the experience of Today that drives a person mad, it is the remorse or bitterness of something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring. Let us, therefore, live but one day at a time.
The Worry Tree!
The Carpenter I hired to help me restore and old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.
On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
"Oh, that's my trouble tree", he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again."
"Funny thing is", he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."
Previously posted 2013