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
s 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.
The Serenity Prayer is known around the world, mostly in its abbreviated form, consisting of the first stanza. It has helped millions of people as a daily reminder to live one day at a time and as a guide to finding the inner peace we all seek.
Let's focus first on the better known part of the prayer, line by line, beginning with, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change."
God is Love. Love grant me the serenity. God is Life. Life grant me the serenity. God is Good. Goodness grant me the serenity. God is Understanding. Understanding grant me the serenity. God is everywhere present at any moment in time. This means to grant eace to me NOW. Serenity can come very quickly with the surrender of our mind to the will of God, aka Love, Life and the Good of all. This is not something outside of ourselves, God is right here, right now, in us. That means WE have the power to accept that which we cannot change and the power to change that which we can and the wisdom to know the difference. Serenity is not an unattainable thing! This is not so much a request as it is a statement of Truth. Most prayers, actually all prayers if they are to be effective, are actually statements of Truth, vehicles by which we remind ourselves to align our will with the will of God...the will of Love.
Acceptance is necessary if we are to know peace. Yes we are perfect in our design, but we are living in a world in which free-will has been wreaking havoc, and therefore all is not aligned with God's will. Everything is not loving, not life-promoting, and there is certainly much that doesn't seem good. Free will is a beautiful gift, but the true gift comes with matching it up to the idea of Love, Life and the Goodness of All. Anything less gives us less than we deserve. The next part of the prayer address the Power to change the things that we can't, but in the first line we are talking about that which cannot be changed. Sometimes it's very hard to accept the reality of that on this earth, because in our hearts we know all can be and should be perfect and whole according to Perfect Design. But Love calls us to accept, and in this acceptance we shall find peace. We have to accept, with love, that everyone's not on the same page, and that there is much suffering in the world to endure. We must accept that we are still growing, and that so is the rest of the world.
Let's apply this to health. People (and animals, and plants, and the environment itself) gets "sick" because it veers from or is steered from Original and Perfect Design. Sickness, however, is not the problem. Sickness is the symptom, and quite frankly, it is usually the body's attempt to restore balance and health. The problem is getting off track in the first place, and causing us to go off balance in the first place. Sometimes this takes courage to change. We'll talk about that in a minute. The acceptance part comes in when it is something we can't change, or perhaps we just can't seem to change it, or change is not coming as fast as we'd like. (It is possible for all things to be changed, but if we were Masters, we probably wouldn't be in the fix that we're in!)
Genetics. This is something that could go into this category. We need to accept that from which we came, and that which is reflected in us. The sins of the father are visited upon the son. We cannot change this. Oh, perhaps through genetic manipulation, but this is another topic for another day. Let's just say that what we are born with, to a large degree, is what we get. We can spend our life angry about this, or sad, or afraid of what it will mean in our lives, or we can accept it and move on from there and find peace, looking next to what we can change.
Pain is another. Yes, pain can be helped through natural means, and we'll talk about this in a minute, but sometimes we have to learn how to deal with pain that is chronic the best that we can. Life is hard. Do we expect any different? They say, "No pain, no gain," and this quite often applies to change and growth.
Pain is one of the hardest things for people to deal with in healing, because it is the most uncomfortable thing for us to feel. Sometimes we have to accept it and move onto what we can change, rather than staying stuck demanding that wee should not hurt. Sometimes life hurts. It's a fact. Should we drug ourselves constantly trying to escape, or should we learn to accept and move on, focusing on what we can change, rather than just that which we can numb? Pain cannot be escaped through numbing, only the awareness of pain. It is an illusion to mask it. The problem still exists and if there is something to change, then it needs addressed. To run and run and run from pain will only make a person grow tired. There is no rest in running, and without any rest, there's no peace. Stop running and make friends with your pain. I know it sounds hard, and it is, but with acceptance comes peace.
With acceptance also comes increased power to change, because we are not using all of our resources to try and resist that which is. With acceptance comes turning our will over to the will of God, and so this means a decision to focus on Love and that which is Good and grants Life.
Say we are faced with a terminal illness? Is that something we are to accept? Well, yes, and no. The wisdom to know the difference certainly comes into play at this point. Let's start with acceptance, however, and then think about the freedom acceptance can bring. Not resolution to dying, but acceptance of the fact that everyone dies, and perhaps it is soon to be our turn. Shouldn't we all live like there's no tomorrow? Showing love to those whom we love, forgiveness towards those whom we resent, and enjoying the small things in life, like the smell of a flower or the laughter of children at play? If we focus our mind on fighting the possibility of dying, aren't we missing out on the life that we have? Accept that it MIGHT happen as the doctors have predicted it will, and let go of the demand that it does not occur in that way. Turn it over to the will of God and find the peace you are looking for.
Let's turn our attention now to the next line of the prayer which tells us to pray for the courage to change the things that we can. Some things we CAN change. We CAN change our attitude, always, and this changes much in our lives. We can change our outlook on life through contemplation, prayer, study, friends, and an inner desire to spiritually grow. We can change our habits of speech and negative thinking. We can change our lifestyle, as well.
There is much change we can make which will affect our healing. As mentioned earlier, sickness is really a sign that the body is attempting to restore its natural balance and state of well-being. We can assist it in its efforts at this, not forcing change, but allowing it to naturally occur. Simply by accepting the condition we are currently in, we open the door up to change. This is because resistance of the natural process only impedes what the body is trying to do. So to help it, don't resist the illness, but ask yourself what is the body trying to do? This is the basic study of naturopathy, and so of course I can't write it all here, for that would be way too much information to type! But start from the point of respecting the body's attempts, and respect the Design as given to us, perfect in every way. We often try to help when we're sick by impeding the attempts of the body to heal itself. Drugs force change while nature allows change. There is a fundamental difference in this. Let go and let God is good advice when it comes to change. Let me explain this a bit further to you.
Let go and let Love do the changing for us. Let go and let Life make it's changes by submitting our will to the will of Perfect Life. This takes courage because we often want a quick fix, and it takes courage because this is not usually what conventional medicine would tell us to do. Conventional medicine says get in there and fix it right now, but it takes courage to realize we're created perfect in our design, and to take the more gentle and subtle approach of working with the body and not against it to heal.
It takes courage to face the challenge of dealing with the causes of sickness and pain. It seems easier to just do away with them now, but then just as with pain, sickness also is not dealt with if only the symptoms are addressed. It takes courage to hang in there and look for the true cause of ill-health, and to address it in ways which will restore balance, because this requires more personal commitment on the part of the individual involved. It takes courage to learn how to read and respond to your own body, because as a society we have given this charge to the doctors alone. We have ceased to see ourselves as the authority on our own issues of health. It takes courage to take this authority back.
It takes courage to stand up to the way that things are usually done. It takes courage to say to the world that what is standard does not seem to be working for you. But is it? Working for you? Apparently not, or you wouldn't be feeling so out of touch with yourself. I say that because healing is natural to us, and for the most part, we are all out of touch to one degree or another. That's what we're trying to learn. We are trying to learn how to restore the perfection implanted within our design. It takes courage to settle for nothing less and to keep striving to understand the secrets of our healing gift when the doctors are all saying that it can't be done.
It takes courage to persevere when we have pain. It takes courage to keep aligning our will to the will of God at this time, because sometimes we don't feel very loving, and we certainly don't always see life as good. But God is Life and God is Good, so the two naturally do go together! Life IS Good! Accept that along with accepting the pain and then have the courage to manifest the goodness of life in your current situation and what you're experiencing now!
Much can be changed. First, change the idea that it can't! Then look around to your habits and your environment. Have the courage to change that which you can, instead of declaring your victimhood and clinging to the idea that you are stuck with your lot. Change your thinking, change your diet, change your level of exercise, change your friends, change the channel on the TV when the commercials come on and tell you that you can't be well without this drug or that!
If you want to find natural wellness, it will take a whole lot of change, because it is mostly a person's habits that get them in trouble, way more than genetics ever will do. Even if something is inherited, in the vast majority of cases it is the tendency and not the actual malady which is passed down. Tendencies cannot be changed, but actuality can!
Learn more about your condition and about what can be naturally done. If you only study what is conventional, then you will not learn about natural healing, because this is not where the money is made and so this is not where the bulk of the information will be. Have the courage to dig deeper and stick to your convictions that all can be healed. Have the courage to keep looking up natural ways, and applying these ways to your life.
Have the courage to stand up to your family when they want to know why the food in the fridge is suddenly healthy instead of whatever else they are used to eating.
Have to courage to look at your habits with an open mind and humility...then CHANGE!
Stop looking for excuses as to why you can't change and just start the process. ACCEPT that it may take time, but have the courage to start on the path. It may seem like the harder way, but in the end, you will find it is much more the easy way, for it works! Acceptance and courage, wisely applied, will indeed bring serenity. This is the natural result.
The Wisdom to know the difference is somewhat the catch to it all. Wisdom comes from an understanding of God, and the experience of trusting your Inner Voice. Go into the silence and appeal to the part of yourself which knows right from wrong. Serenity is greatly a matter of faith.
Sometimes we don't know what to do. What would Love do? This is always a good question to ask. What can we do align our will with the will of God? WIth the will of Life? This is often where wisdom comes into play. If it is not something which promotes life, wisdom would tell us to leave it alone. Learn to recognize that which is part of LIFE...that which is part of the Original Plan. These are the things we will find that are in line with the will of God. Such things as food, air, water, sunlight, laughter, tears, rain, movement, touch, prayer, natural fragrance, rest, our connection with the earth and all of nature...these are the tools given to us in the beginning to heal. Wisdom says to make use of these things. Things which carry no life and bring negative side-effects, well, are these in fact wise to use?
We must exercise wisdom as individuals and as a society if we are all to find the healing we seek. We need to align our will with the will of God, as a people, and focus on Love, Goodness and Life for all, and in all, acting as all that is natural and pure in this world. Does your approach to healing align with this idea? We spend so much time in our current focus with trying to destroy that which we see as bad, when the truth is that if we focus on the good, which is abundant, then the apparent bad will disappear, for it is not real. God is all that is Real, and God is Good. God is Life. God is Love. Focus on that which brings these things about and allow them to flourish. This is evidence of God's will in full force!
If we are to die, may we die in peace. And if we are to live, let us live fully, in peace! The Serenity Prayer is a formula for this.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that you will make all things
right if I surrender to your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with you forever in the next.
AMEN! And so it is.
Please reference our website as source of all quotes, and please quote in context. Thanks!