Finding Wisdom to Change in The Serenity Prayer

June 30, 2011 by  
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Today I am thinking of Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Serenity Prayer”.  It is so brilliant.  It contains the formula for living a peaceful, content, and ever enlarging life. We do not control many of the things that come our way.  Good or bad.  We don’t control the time they happen in. But the thing we do control is acceptance without pity or anger towards ourselves and others.

The prayer tells us to accept with serenity the thing we cannot change.  In my case now, I can’t change my father being in the hospital for a month fighting for his life.  I can only offer love and support and know whatever happens, is part of living. So as I have done before I will accept and live the experience and turn it part of my life’s landscape and wisdom.

Courage to change the things which should be changed; in my case my relationship with guilt for not being able to be all things to all people including me.  As it is a very tall order, I must have the courage to change the way I and others see myself.

To live a day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, is a must ingredient for contentment.  Being in the moment, forces us to give up on the past and the future, and concentrate on what really matters; the present.  After all the past is gone and the future is depended on the present.

The rest of the prayer doesn’t speak to me personally, as concepts of heaven or after life are applicable to my belief system.  But maybe to yours,  so I’m posting the whole prayer.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

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