The Serenity Prayer
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.
In the July Ah-Man Newsletter, I related how the Serenity Prayer has helped me see things from a different perspective.
In last week’s blog post, we looked at the first line of the prayer. This week, we’ll look at the second line of the prayer.
“The courage to change the things I can”
The second line of the Serenity Prayer can be examined in two parts.
The “courage to change” sounds simple enough and, indeed, it is. In most cases, the only thing we can change is ourselves and our perspective.
After doing things in a certain way for so long, we need courage to see things differently. Why? Because we are admitting that “our” way didn’t work. It didn’t bring us the lasting peace we wanted and brought calamity to us and those around us.
So we need to change and do things differently, which, in some cases, might mean “upsetting the apple cart,” so to speak. People around us also are used to seeing us doing things in a certain way. They might want us to get better, but that may necessitate a change in the way we do things; a change the people around us don’t want, because they are used to our dysfunction and, possibly, used to themselves being in charge. So it’s not always so black and white.
The courage to change the “things we can.” The second part of that line is equally important. As I mentioned earlier, we really can only ask God’s help in changing ourselves, i.e., either our actions or our outlook/perspective. If we go around asking God to change this person or that situation, where is the serenity that we asked to be granted? Are we not trying to be in charge once more? Can’t we see how being in charge got us into the pickle that led to our need to request serenity in the first place?
Next week, we’ll look at the third line of the prayer.