One Single, Magical Sentence

One Single, Magical Sentence

Serenity through understanding importance and difference of acceptance and courage
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"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to do the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr

When I was growing up, my father loved to provide me with his favorite philosophical quotes when they applied to a situation occurring in my life. In my younger years, I would roll my eyes and say something along the lines of "answer my question" or make fun of him. One of the most recurring phrases I heard, however, was the Serenity Prayer.

Difficulties in our day to day lives are inevitable. The reality is there are many situations and stressors that we can't just fix or get rid of. Sometimes change happens and we are put in discomfort that challenges us to grow. There are times that I get caught up in my anxiety, emotions, and fear.

Often, I find the Serenity Prayer repeating in my mind and never fails to calm me. I would argue that the Serenity Prayer, though short, can apply to about any problem that presents itself to you.

As I reflect now, I think my dad may not have been so annoying after all. Having the prayer as a reminder to "accept the things I cannot change,” provides a feeling of freedom and peace whenever I cannot change a situation.

At times, there are dilemmas in our days in which we know the right things to do, yet, the right thing to do isn't the most appealing. This is why the second part of the prayer requests "courage to change the things I can."

The final portion of the prayer, which always gives me chills, is the most important part to pay attention to. "And the wisdom to know the difference." Sometimes courage to change something won't help you. If your dog dies, the peace of accepting the circumstance, no made how hard, will ultimately help you.

If you have to tell a friend something you know they really won't want to hear, you need to act rather than accept. This courage to be vulnerable and take a chance at the right time is wisdom. This ability to accept that you can only change yourself is wisdom.

The serenity prayer suggests a sense of a wise temperament and how to "pick your battles." Many recovery groups, such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous), repeat this phrase each meeting as a means of providing perspective for the group members when telling their stories. I believe that these values can be applied to each and every conflict that exists in each of our days.

Next time you are stressed, angry, hurt, or having trouble making a decision, try repeating this quote to yourself. Hopefully, you will find that wisdom to know the difference.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Nghia Le on Unsplash

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When God Says, “Not Right Now.”

“God give me faith to wait and not manipulate. To trust You fully, no matter how my circumstances may appear." — Lynn Cowell

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One of the most frustrating yet beautiful things is when God tells us “no" or “not right now."

At the time, you may have agony or desperation for this one thing to work out in your life, but it slips away from you. You may ask God why. Why does He want you to be unhappy? Why does He want to take away your dreams?

At the time, you cannot see how much God truly is working in your life, but He is. In my life, every time that I was disappointed that a plan or dream didn't work out, I was devastated. I didn't want to be in a position where I was challenged and tested. I wanted all the blessings to flow and to fulfill what I thought was my plan in life. But that's exactly what it was: my plan.

I did not see at the time that that is not what God intended for me and that He actually had far greater plans than I did for myself. He needed to mold me into who I am supposed to be today. Along the way I have met the most amazing people that have had a huge impact on my life, have gone through the most amazing experiences with God, and I wouldn't trade going through all the trials because it has truly made me into the woman I am today.

“What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for." – John Ortberg

God is continually, endlessly, working in our lives.

We may not see it, but He is. We may blame God for all the things that are going wrong in our lives, but we never see that in the end, we were supposed to go through the low valleys to get to the high, amazing, and beautiful mountains in our lives.

I truly believe that it's when you're at the bottom of the darkest pit in your life that you can actually see the light of God shining brightly upon you. During these times, pray to Him to lead you to understanding that this is all a part of His plan for you.

It hurts God to see that His child is suffering, but in order to carve out just the person that you are supposed to be, you must go through challenges. Where you are today is no accident. God is using the challenge you are in to shape you and prepare you for the place He wants you tomorrow. When it comes to God's plan, timing is absolutely everything.

Looking back on all the events that I had to endure before getting to where I am now, I know that I had to go through the trials in order to be just who I am today, which is happier than I have ever been because I know God and His plan for me. Waiting is the most difficult job of hope, but you must remain faithful and know that God is guiding you.

“When I wait, you strengthen my heart." Psalm 27:14

When you are waiting for God's righteous plan, don't lose faith in His goodness. He only wants the best for you, and in the end, you will look back and see just how much He truly was working in your life. Be patient and the blessings will flow.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Poetry On Odyssey: Ego

Years later, we can still learn something about ourselves and our morality from Freud.

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I'm studying Freud now for maybe the 5th time

So I'm familiarized with his notorious line


It starts off as ID, ending at SuperEgo

Which helps you gauge if you're good, and hopefully not evil


It's the impossible goal to balance Ego in the middle

I think back on myself, trying so hard to fiddle


The morality dial to a place to that felt right

Where my mind was peace and my soul could feel light


I think now that I've made it, but I hadn't at first

So my earlier years were understandably the worst


My first day of grade school I was instantly smitten

Well aware that my guidelines had already been written


I was taught that fulfillment could be found in God's Word

His love the incentive with which I was lured


But she was just so damn sweet, with long hair and dark eyes

I hated myself for thinking same as the guys


Adam would never have lain down with a man

So to make it to Heaven, she was not in the plan


Later in life I was leaving high school

Taking dick, smoking pot and breaking rules to look cool


When on a contemplative car ride one night with my friend

My SuperEgo delusion came to a startling end


I asked, "Have you ever felt like you were missing a penis before?"

Her expression told me not to bring that up anymore


That night sent me deep into a pit of self loathing

I could pass as pure to my church, but felt absolutely nothing


I was shrink wrapped in guilt for the secrets I held

Taught that my kind were all children of the Angel that Fell


I felt I had failed, too wrapped up in desire

Postmarked now for down under as a fag, tranny and liar


Even though I would spend just two more years with God's son

I had denied who I was till the damage was done


All those times that I'd judged queer folks with disgust

Held me down like a freight train infested with rust


I internalized all the hatred I'd spread

Every comment placed pea-like in my soft Christian bed


That was the past, I breath easier now

But not without finding my "who" and my "how"


The person I'm now is so earthquakingly free

I mourn the years without girlfriends and the pronouns "him/he"


Pretty Boy is all honest, and that's pretty much "how"

I was able to end up at "who" I am now


It seems that its easy to find your Ego on the line

When your ID and your Super are authentically defined


But not by a god or a priest or a book

Right and wrong will come out if you're willing to look

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