The Serenity Prayer
Today, let's talk briefly about the Serenity Prayer...
God* grant us the serenity
to accept the things we cannot change,
The courage to change the things we can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Most of us are familiar with this prayer and have probably heard it or said it several times.
But what does "Serenity" really mean?
Serenity is not an event, rather it is a chosen and cultivated state of mind. Serenity is the state or quality of being calm, or tranquil, having composure, calm, peacefulness, or peace. Serenity is having the presence of mind, or said another way, having the presence to your mind, to your surroundings, and to your life.
The prayer is essentially saying, God grant me the "presence" of mind to see my circumstances, my mind, and my life clearly today. It's not saying, God make my life easy today, don't give me any challenges or difficulties. The prayer is for presence, so that I may see the truth, and make choices from this clear and present state.
An additional component of the prayer is a plea for "ACCEPTANCE".
As the sign says- YOU ARE HERE (whether you like it or not).
Accepting one's current position or set of circumstances can be one of the most difficult things we must learn do, but luckily we get the opportunity to learn acceptance over an over again.
It can be very hard to accept exactly where you are at this moment, but with acceptance comes the ability to move through and integrate. Acceptance is the final stage of the grieving process. We often first have to fight with loss - loss of any kind - in all sorts of creative ways for a while before we finally release, surrender and accept. (Grief stages: best remembered with the acronym "DABDA" Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance). Sooner or later we finally come to accept that yes, I am here, like the sign says, whether I like it or not.
With acceptance, the journey begins, grace and possibility for new life blossoms.
God* grant me presence to whatever my life holds for me in this moment. Allow me to be fully alive to my life, fully here for all of it.
I wish you full, gentle, and complete presence in your life today.
*Note to reader, please substitute whatever word for God which is meaningful for you.