God Life is too darn complicated for me to believe that everything falls into the realm of human control. Personally, I don’t know if my Higher Power is God or Gods, Goddess or Goddesses, Nature, Science, or some concept I’ve never dreamed of. All I know is that there’s a power in this world much bigger than I am, and I’m glad of it.
Grant Me I can ask my Higher Power for help. It’s okay to ask. Help is available, but I have to recognize that I need help, and be humble enough to ask for it. My asking needs to be a request, not a demand or expectation.
The Serenity Internal peace is a true, real, viable possibility, which allows me...
To Accept To fully embrace the present truth. Everything is exactly as my Higher Power meant for it to be in this moment. My Higher Power can grant me serenity, which allows me to accept...
The Things Thoughts, feelings, facts, people, situations, etc.
I Cannot Change There is no gray here. Cannot denotes an impossibility. There is literally nothing I can do to make these things different. That doesn’t mean things can’t be different; just that I can’t personally make them different. I cannot, for example, no matter how hard I try, change the past, nor can I personally change another person. Influence? Yes. Change? No way.
The Courage Willingness to act in spite of fear. It may be fear of physical pain, emotional pain, loss, judgment, failure, or simply fear of the unknown.
To Change the Things I Can While there is a lot I cannot change, there is equally as much that I can. Can is a certainty. I can think differently, feel differently, act differently. I can influence people, places, and things. I may not know how to create change, but I indisputably have the ability to do it, and with some effort I’ll be able to figure out how.
And the Wisdom Insight gained from a combination of knowledge and experience.
To Know This one’s tricky. How can we really be sure of anything? How can I know, absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt? For me, this “knowing” translates as knowing in my heart, therefore believing, followed by action based on that belief with full confidence that I’m doing the right thing.
The Difference A distinction, stark or subtle, that sets two things apart. Sometimes it’s obvious what can be changed and what can’t; other times the difference is almost imperceptible. In either case, there is a difference. Something either can be changed or it cannot, and that’s really all there is to it.
As I said, I recite the serenity prayer on a regular basis. It brings me peace, which opens the door to joy. That’s what I want for myself, my family, my friends… for everybody. How have you found serenity in your life? How can you find more?
The Serenity Prayer, by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.