“Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us.”
I have referenced the Serenity Prayer — written by American theologian Reinhold Neibuhr (1892-1971) —numerous times over the 10 years of writing this blog.
Take another look at a popular version of it, given the year we’ve been through and your perspective on who you are today and what the future holds.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
How many times have you glanced over this saying, popularized in the Alcoholics Anonymous community? How does its wisdom resonate with you today?
How and in what ways have you changed this past year? In what ways are you far wiser and able to navigate life more serenely by acknowledging, allowing, and even accepting the circumstances and things you cannot change?
“Time is how you spend your love.”
—Zadie Adeline Smith, Creative Writing Professor, New York University
The Serenity Prayer
So much has changed in our personal and professional lives over the past months.
How we spend our time has dramatically changed, and the normal routines and momentum we previously expected have been thwarted.
How are these events impacting you and those you love?
What aspects of your world can you control and influence? Which can you not?
Revisiting the Serenity Prayer might prove useful as a mindful exercise. How you are spending your time with your head, hand, and heart?
Despite the hard realities presented by this global crisis, I am delighted to see the outpouring of love within and between communities at all levels around the world.
Where and in what ways can and will you spend your life and time today to make a difference in your communities?
“You can’t take a crash course in serenity.”
—Shirley MacLaine, American actress and author
Image from Melissa Heisler
Shirley MacLaine is an American film, TV, and theatre actress, a singer, dancer, activist, and author who has achieved much and earned many awards in her 60+ year career.
Her well-know interest in New Age spirituality has even made its way into films, including Albert Brook’s romantic comedy, Defending Your Life, where we are introduced to the concept of past lives through the “Past Life Pavilion.”
Most of us would like a far larger helping of peace of mind and serenity, although they appear to be contrary to our high velocity, quick-fix world that generally over-promises and under-delivers.
In what ways can you slow down and take a deeper inner journey to realize greater serenity in your life?
Ask those you know and trust what they find helpful. Consider a bit of experimentation to see what works best for you.
“…the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
– Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr
Serenity is not something I see much of these days. Life seems to be in constant overdrive.
If the world around is moving too fast and you can’t keep up, find the capacity within yourself to slow down, recover your energy, and reset your personal metronome.
Whatever we resist persists.
What can you do to accept and allow that which you cannot control? The weather and traffic come to mind.
Where can you tap into your intentions to change things that are changeable? Your health and fitness and personal relationships may fit into this category.
What other strategies of perspective can you use to gain the serenity you desire, and to find peace of mind when needed?
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