Do you sometimes struggle to make sense of the events that are happening around you and in the world? Do you become agitated when the best-laid plans go astray?
Perhaps we all can benefit from reviewing the first part of the “Serenity Prayer,” written by theologian and political commentator Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (AKA Reinhold Niebuhr).
Here’s the commonly posted version:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
I’ve seen this thought-provoking message displayed in gift shops, etched on plaques, posted in spiritual centers, and framed in homes. What a powerful motto to live by!
As I highlight the lines, reflect on how you might apply these commandments to your life.
Let’s start with the first section: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” As a recovering control queen and perfectionist enthusiast, these words strike an emotional chord with me. I learned long ago that you can’t change people. You must accept them the way they are. If there’s any changing to be done, they will be the ones to make it happen. This applies to you, too! Even though I’m not familiar with your circumstances, I see you stubbornly standing there with your hand on your hip, when others try to change you.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you don’t have influence. You do! But it’s not your responsibility to change anyone. And why would you want to, anyway? Lasting change takes place when it’s self-initiated. When you walk in your truth and continue to be your best, people will be inspired to follow your example by “choosing” to make positive shifts in their lives.
And, we cannot undo past events. Sometimes we have to make peace with unfortunate circumstances. That’s what “serenity” means. I’ve lost friends and relatives to accidents, violence, suicide and disease. You grieve with the families and ask, “Why?” But no answer will ever suffice. However, love, acceptance and awareness have the potential to create inner peace.
Which leads me to the second section: “Give me the courage to change the things I can.” Because you have ultimate authority over yourself, you can change! And in changing yourself, you impact others in significant ways. Here’s a personal illustration:
Although menopause had its challenges, it proved to be a blessing for me. The health issues that popped up during that time prompted a personal campaign to reevaluate my lifestyle and seek alternative interventions to traditional prescription drugs. While I knew I couldn’t change menopause, I was certain I could reverse the other health concerns. Seeking naturopathic solutions was a courageous choice, and the reward was divine, because it led me up a fascinating path to whole health and an opportunity to help others through my holistic wellness business, Lifestyle 120.
Are you willing to start or contribute to a cause that supports those who have survived traumatic experiences or help prevent them from reoccurring? There can be power in tragedy, loss and misfortune. While life may be volatile at times, you have the power to change your attitude, your mind, your heart, and your life for the better.
Finally, knowledge and experience precede wisdom. We must surrender to the way life is and be consciously aware of the way it is not. This is the key to acquiring “the wisdom to know the difference.”
I thought you might want to see the original language of “The Serenity Prayer”: “God give me the serenity to accept things which cannot be changed; Give me courage to change things which must be changed; And the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.” Which version resonates with you the most?
Four Steps to Nourish, Transform and Flourish
• Set a loving intention to use the “Serenity Prayer” as a guide for living your life.
• Begin by acknowledging that the only person you can change is you.
• How will accepting the things you can’t change help you experience inner peace?
• Close your eyes and visualize how this lifestyle change can prepare you for your amazing second half.
Need help devising a plan to live your best life?
It can be challenging to maintain momentum on your own. My Sprout Your New Life™ course will give you the tools and the strong spiritual foundation to make lasting change in your life. Click here for more.
In love, peace and health--
Your feminine glow guide,
T. Kari Mitchell, M.Ed.
Certified Holistic Health Coach
When your spirit is nourished, your inner light produces an outer glow reflecting your beauty and truth.