By yielding you may obtain victory. –Ovid
While I am responsible for changing what I can, I have to let go of the rest if I want peace of mind. Just for today I will love myself enough to give up a struggle over something that is out of my hands. Courage to ChangeThe well-known Serenity Prayer* begins with a plea for serenity, for a calm spirit, as a gift from God, in order that I might then be able to accept the reality of those things over which I have no control.
For a very long time, I got this part of the ‘equation’ dead wrong, striving always for acceptance in order that I might be serene, misunderstanding the heart of the prayer, that acceptance flows from serenity and not the reverse; in other words, God and God’s gift of peace in my life allows me to accept even harsh realities, rather than wasting the valuable gift of time in trying to alter reality itself.
Once I accept the reality of the situation, I am then in a position to decide what my own part, if any, in it is and what, if anything I need to do or can do to bring about change.
It is enormously freeing to realize that I’m not in charge of everything.
Yet acceptance is not the same as tolerance. Acceptance does not require me to accept the unacceptable, as it were. Rather, acceptance allows me to simply sit with what is, even when it hurts.
Like all of us, I’ve had to accept lots of hard realities in my life. But I did not have to tolerate them. I did not have to remain stuck. I could make the changes that I could make. And I could rest in the God-granted serenity that allowed and allows me to own that things are often not as I would wish they were, but even so, I am.
May God’s serenity be yours now and evermore.
*God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.