Strength in serenity is to understand that some circumstances are beyond our control to change, and on the other hand, we can play our part and cause change and the wisdom to know the difference.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word serenity? Is it a sense of calm, peace or perhaps the Serenity Prayer! The Serenity Prayer is my source of inspiration for this blog, and I wonder if some wisdom can be applied here, despite one’s spiritual stance, especially during this pandemic. If you are unfamiliar with the Serenity Prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr, this is how it goes “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.”
Perhaps a powerful message that can be extracted from this text is that, on the one hand, life happens, and some circumstances are beyond our control to change, and on the other hand, we can play our part and cause change. You might ask how does one gain the wisdom of knowing the difference between the two? I wonder if it’s when we take the time to stop and reflect on our lives and circumstances. To see things for what they are!
I am the first to admit that this concept is easier said than done but what if it’s necessary if we want to see any type of change. A good reminder could be that while we are responsible for ourselves, we also need to keep in check that we don’t carry the burden of the unchangeable as it was never ours to carry and is unrealistic.
With this in mind, I encourage you to look at your current situation and make two lists—one of the things that you can change and another of the things that you can’t change. I have created a template for you to use if you wish to do this exercise. Some examples might be: We can’t change how others think of us, but we can change how we think of ourselves, or we can’t change where we’ve come from, but we can change where we are going.