God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
This was the first prayer that I ever learned. In my childhood home, this prayer hung on the wall in the family dining area. It was directly across the room, in my line of vision, when I sat down to eat every meal until I was in the sixth grade. I had it memorized long before I knew what it meant.
In adulthood, I have heard the prayer over and over, even prayed it a few times myself, but not until recently, has it become my way of life. Back in September, I knew it was time for me to do something that has been recommended to me for years and I finally made the commitment to give it a try a couple of months ago. I am now attending a recovery meeting every week in which I pray this prayer, with other's whose struggles are similar to mine, with the same purpose in mind...to turn our lives over to the care and will of God. To bring serenity to our lives in the face of chaos. To learn to live a life of joy, in spite of the craziness, the pain, and the things that we cannot change. I am learning what it means, really means to accept the things that I cannot change, and there is a whole lot on that list! The only thing that I can change is myself, and ONLY with the help of God. I continue to rely on His strength, as I find the courage to change my reactions and myself. Sometimes, I have not known the difference, but I am praying that I will know, and am thrilled that God is answering that prayer. I am grateful for the group of people who are there every week to help me, to teach me, to love me and to listen to me.
Read it again, this time in it's entirety. Let it sink into your heart as it sinks into mine.
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.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.