Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The serenity. The state of being calm and peaceful. Untroubled.
To accept the things I cannot change.
This prayer. It is a favorite. In my mind, it is one of the most powerful prayers ever written. One of the most challenging.
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.
Wooowwwweeee. I thought the first line was huge. The next two ask for even more.
The courage, to stand up, be heard, be brave. To be fearless, and gallant, in an effort to make changes in the world,… and in ourselves.
And finally, to possess the wisdom to know the difference. Holy smackerels.
Growing up, I did a whole lot of praying. But back then, I am not sure I really knew how to pray. I went to church every day. Not so much on my own accord. It was more like I went by mandate or directive. Nonetheless. I went. And I knelt down on my little knees in those Catholic Masses, and I prayed. With all my might.
All of that started at a very early age. Not too terribly long after Baptism….. which occurred shortly after birth. This continued on throughout high school and a bit into college. At that point, in “adulthood,” I just quit going. And I never went back. Except for an occasional wedding or funeral. I quit praying all together, too. For a long, long time.
In my recent years I have reconnected with my spiritual self. Which is really our true selves, in my opinion. The spirit. The rest of this is just a borrowed shell. On short-term loan.
When I first began this reconnect, maybe a decade or so ago, one of the first prayers that moved me WAS the Serenity Prayer. It was written by Reinhold Niebuhr around 1934. And it has been used in a lot of different ways, over the years. It is pretty brilliant after all. And as I said, it truly touched me some ten years ago.
Every time I think of it, or hear it, I get the tingles. I do.
It elicits in me, what I believe to be… the very core of our human existence. Our purpose. Collectively.
Here is the caveat. Most of us want to see some sort of change in the world. But how to achieve that “change” takes a million different paths, with 7 billion varying opinions. Of course, large portions of us want differing things. And there in lies the problem, the conundrum. The glitch.
Is our way the better way? Of course WE think it is. It is how we think, after all. But there are a lot of others who are convinced differently. How do we all get along? How do we all find the common thread? How can all of us be living with in our individual rights to personal freedom and happiness?
My guess is this. If more of us started to find our spiritual selves again, our underlying true awareness… it would be highly probably that we would begin to find more compassion and understanding. For others. For ourselves. For that which is different.
Everything we say or do has the potential of affecting someone else’s life. Is what we are doing for the good, or not for the greater good?
May we all ask for, and receive…. the wisdom to know the difference.