A copy of the Serenity Prayer is posted on my refrigerator. Such a beautiful reminder of the seasons of life.
“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.”
Wisdom was a frequent prayer as I worked in various ministries, raised my son, made life-changing decisions.
Wisdom is still a daily prayer as life presents the need for quirky decisions: whether to downsize and sell, where to move or if, how to protect our home from COVID-19.
But in spite of the Serenity Prayer, change happens with or without courage. The seasons of life determine new directions, transitions and different pathways. Change has never been my problem.
But acceptance — now that is a different story.
Growing up on the farm, we made do with what we had. But if we needed something, we figured out a way to make it with the tools and materials we already owned. Created something from the bits and pieces around us.
Or changed a situation to make it better.
That work ethic has followed me through life and added to the quality of my days. I have no regrets for changes made, for improvements accomplished.
Even for risks taken.
But acceptance is not easy for a change-maker. To sit around and just let life happen is not in my DNA. If I cannot make a situation better, at least I can work to make it tolerable.
Revise manuscripts until they feel right. Add another exercise to my routine to strengthen aging muscles. Delete from my diet harmful chemicals.
Make the necessary changes.
As a coach, my questions to clients include, “What are the action points we’ll work on this week? How can we move forward and make the changes that will improve your book, help you find a publisher, complete the process?”
Change is easier, because it allows us to DO something — anything — to make improvements. But what if the situation cannot be changed? Ever.
How can we find the hope needed while doing nothing about a situation?
The loss of a best friend, a relative, a job, a business. So many losses in 2020 and the beginnings of 2021. Recently, the loss of power for so many during the coldest week in decades.
Half a million families changed forever by the loss of someone to COVID. When life changes so dramatically, we are never the same. How can we move toward that deep type of acceptance?
My mother has somehow accepted her life in the nursing home. She is content living day by day in her safe environment. No stresses. No bills to worry about. No car that needs an oil change.
The late stages of Alzheimer’s presents a type of acceptance for those affected with the disease. Just get up every morning and eat when they tell you to eat. Play Bingo when it’s time.
To stay in hope and live in peace, we have to let go of the need to change. To accept what cannot be changed and know that even within the acceptance — we will be okay.
We will learn a type of soul contentment.
So let’s change what we can, but accept what cannot be tampered with. Then pray for the peace to live within that acceptance and find joy.
©2021 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
Check out these steps for moving toward hope, especially when life turns chaotic. Finding Hope When Life Unravels.