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Monday, May 9, 2016


When I was in my late teens, already driving in fact, I discovered Al-anon. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is a branch of the twelve-step program, i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous, et. al. A meeting for people in families or relationships in which their loved ones are abusing alcohol or drugs. It was in my first meeting that I learned the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference. I came to know these as the three things that could bring me inner peace in a New-York-minute. 

There are times in my life when things are going so smoothly that I forget that, as someone born with chemical depression, I have to practice my coping skills every day to keep it at bay or I start to lose them, and lately I had gone through a patch like that. This past weekend however, I was again reminded of the serenity prayer, and everything good and positive snapped right back into place. Here is how it speaks to me when I keep it front of mind:

1.  If you accept things as they come and learn to let go of the illusion of control and ask yourself each time you feel that things are not going your way in a situation, "How can I make this beneficial for me?" you will achieve SERENITY. This takes a lot of practice and diligence, but when you master this it will become a habit that will change your life for the better.

2.  When you know that you have the power to change things in your life and/or in other peoples' lives toward the positive and you go for it and actually make those changes or strides thereto, you have found COURAGE. Courage tells you that fear/worry is silly and pointless and that you can be anyone and anything that you want to be and you can be the positive difference in your life and in the lives of others.

3.  WISDOM is obtained by knowing the difference between the things that are within your power to change or those that you have to accept and work into your life because you do not have the power to change them. This may just be the most important step because it is this judgment alone that will grant you total serenity and therefore inner peace. Make this decision first and the rest will fall into place.

Are these things easy to learn? For some yes, but for others, not so much, but when you ask God and/or the universe to grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference, you shall receive them...all three. The important thing is to ask, but equally important you must be grateful for them when they are granted...along with each and every wonderful and positive thing in your life as you receive them.

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