Never were there more true words to live by. If the world simply lived by the serenity prayer, it would be a perfect place.
Now, first, let's make this prayer more user-friendly to all - regardless of your religious or spiritual belief. Let's make this the God of our understanding, whatever that may be.
Moving right along, with that in mind, we can pull apart the Serenity Prayer, and look at how well it sums up the healthiest mindset.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change-
Serenity, being the first key word here, can be hard to achieve when we are in pain and distress. We must find a way to quiet our minds and to be calm if we want to be able to think clearly. Prayer and meditation are two things that can help with this process.
Acceptance, the next key word, truly is the first and foremost important thing we can achieve in life; especially when we want to heal from grief. We cannot change people, places and things. Wow, that's just about everything! What does that not cover?
We can change. We can change our situation, our thinking, our attitudes and actions. . . ONLY ours. Others have their own higher power, and their own path. We must walk ours.
Courage to change the things I can-
After we have figured out what it is exactly that we cannot change, we must look at what we are left with - things that we can change.
I can change my basic beliefs, attitudes, actions, reactions, habits, situation, and yes, even my emotions. We all believe that our feelings are always valid, and that is what we are taught. I am not going to say this is totally untrue, however.
Our emotions are based upon many things, including our life experiences and beliefs. If we can figure out how our life experiences have affected us, we may find that our knee-jerk reactions may come from those experiences that were more significant or traumatic. Our beliefs come from everything we see, hear, learn and experience from the time we are born. Some of us may have been raised in an environment that was less than healthy. Thus, we learn what we live. As adults, we have the wonderful ability to understand and to change the way we view these things. When we educate ourselves, and search for wellness, our emotions will change as we uncover and develop new beliefs.
The wisdom to know the difference-
Or maybe it should be the ability to be truthful with myself enough to see the difference. When we believe one way all of our lives, changing everything we ever thought and believed is not easy. But it is not impossible! We humans tend to not change until it becomes too painful to remain the same. Therefore, pain is an excellent motivator, and catalyst for change.
When we begin to look at ourselves and what we can and need to change, it is most uncomfortable at first. It may seem too big a task to begin, but rest assured, it is never more than you can handle. When we begin to open ourselves to new possibilities, it's like a floodgate opens, and suddenly all this new knowledge comes flowing in. It happens pretty quickly, once it begins. We call this a spiritual awakening. Oprah calls it an ‘Ah-ha’ moment.
Whatever you call it, when the light comes on and you begin to accept what you cannot change, change what you can, and you know the difference, the sky is the limit. You can achieve anything with serenity, courage and wisdom.
Jeri Lynn Platt is the founder of Shining Light Grief Support. She has long been an advocate for natural birthing, cesarean prevention, unnecessary medical intervention and the medical rights of the pregnant parent. Grief support was only a part of the support and advocacy she offered until the illness and subsequent death of her fifteen year old daughter in April of 2003 brought her to a new level of education and understanding. An ordained minister (non-denominational), she offers education, spiritual & emotional support, hope and respite for the weary and grief-stricken through the use of a series of support tools, in the hope that we can all be UNstuck in our grief. Jeri is available for speaking, workshops, one-on-one support and offers a series of grief retreats at some of the most beautiful spa resorts in sunny South Florida.
She can be reached at 954-827-0295, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit http://www.myshininglight.com