the empty bento

March 19th, 2012

Sometimes when something unexpected happens — which is nearly always — I think these kinds of thoughts:
Oh no!
How will that work out?
How will I fit that in?
How can I make that OK?
I don’t know how.

What about the rest of everything?
What about the plan?
Not something else!
I can’t handle any more!
It’s all falling apart.

I feel as if I am holding a box where I’ve given everything a place, a turn, and a time. A box I can’t ever drop. I like to think I’m good at not dropping the box. But then I remember:

There is no box.

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  1. How is it that you are in my head and always post such wise words when I need them most? Thank you, dear Maezen.

    Comment by Meg — March 19, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  2. Not giving up my box, I’ll take a cardboard box, anything, but I’m having a box!

    I’ll take the fail on this insight.

    I like a good box. You know, the best part of any gift when you are small is not the gift, but the box. There has to be a box.

    Comment by MJ — March 19, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

  3. Man do I know those feelings! I have a box, too, and have a similar panic when something happens like that. I don’t think I could jettison my box, though. What I try to do instead, what is hard to do inside the panic, is to give myself the space to think, take a breath, and have faith that I can rearrange the things to fit again with the new, or figure out which of the old really wasn’t necessary after all (do I really HAVE to drop off the dry cleaning today/do a full grocery/can I just get buy with milk and eggs today). And when I have the box re-fitted, re-prioritized I feel calm again. But it’s funny, this post made me realize I do think of it like a box, even though I don’t think I could have described it that way if asked directly.

    Comment by Anonymous in Mpls — March 19, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

  4. Thank you! I am constantly creating and reshaping my boxes, a new to-do list every day, another way to make it all work according to a plan that, yes, does not exist. The amazing constructions of our minds!

    Comment by rani — March 19, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

  5. i love it when i read something that is simply true. my heart gets all filled up (i can actually feel it). thank you for saying true things.

    Comment by cori dantini — March 19, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

  6. If you can show me the box that holds your life, well then, show me.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — March 19, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

  7. Now in my sixties, my box has been dropped, kicked, punctured and all around beat up so many times that I finally had to give up and put it in the trash. Best day of my life. So far.

    Comment by Connie — March 20, 2012 @ 6:41 am

  8. This made me laugh out loud! Of course! No box can hold one’s life. It just can’t. And yet we try so hard… Ah, breathing a deep breath.

    Comment by Jennifer — March 20, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  9. I continually get trapped in my ‘box’ that I created. I am aware that I must deconstruct that ‘box’ and flatten it out…….I can see a lot further from there!

    Comment by Jim — March 20, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  10. I keep reflecting upon the importance of a box, my personal attachment to a box.
    You know, a box may well be the symbol of the western world, most leave it, in a box. We seem very attached to the concept of a box.

    This whole box post tickles my funny bone because I’ve never once before stopped to think about a box defining my life, but I might have to admit that it does. Ha!

    Comment by MJ — March 20, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  11. Flatten the box and make a painting with it! No amount of masking tape can keep that box together, so why not make something beautiful out of it instead?

    Comment by Robin — March 21, 2012 @ 8:34 am

  12. You are right, I have no box to show you. No reason to cling to that illusion.

    Comment by Karen — March 23, 2012 @ 3:42 am

  13. Absolutely brilliant. I must remember that there is no box when I feel sheer terror over a broken, torn, flattened, decimated box. Thank you thank you thank you, Karen. As I surrender my ideas of the life I thought I would have, I open myself to this day and to those precious people in front of me (including myself). May I give my time and attention to this moment rather than being gripped by fear that nothing looks like I thought it would.

    Comment by Pamela — March 29, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  14. This. And that is all. xoxo

    Comment by Christine — March 29, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  15. I look at it like a running list. Things get added and removed, but mostly added. It’s taken me awhile to accept that there are only 24 hours in a day and I am only one person with a finite capacity. The less important, less impending will fall off as they must do in order to do the more important. Often the more important is just maintaining my sanity and controlling the stress.

    Comment by Cathy — March 29, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

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