Make your suffering an offering

Whatever you do, make it an offering to me – the food you eat, the sacrifices you make, the help you give, even your suffering. In this way you will be freed from the bondage of karma, and from its results both pleasant and painful. Then, firm in renunciation and yoga, with your heart free, you will come to me.

– The Bhagavad Gita

Before I write in the morning, I light some incense and say a short prayer to my Ganesh figurine.

I say something to the effect of, “I offer my writing in service to you and ask that you help me to continue to perform this work in that spirit.”

It sounds a bit silly but it gets me in the right frame of mind to write. Perhaps any such ritual would work, but that works for me.

What I didn’t expect was that I could do something similar with negative feelings and emotions.

In moments when I feel anxious or depressed about something, I say a quick prayer in my head, offering my suffering to God.

Then I feel better. I don’t know why, but it makes it seem like my experiences are not wasted or lived in vain.

Keep in mind I’m not a religious believer in any sense and I don’t expect that all my problems will be solved through these mini-prayers

I’m not quite at that Carrie Underwood “Jesus take the wheel” stage yet but I’ll keep you posted.

PS: I’m a fan of this plum blossom incense from Shoyeido. They made a custom incense for a temple in Kyoto I liked which I couldn’t get anymore so they recommended this one and it was really good. Very calming.