Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Serenity

Lately I have been feeling very agitated; like there was some kind of inner conflict I was fighting with myself. I was wasting a lot of time and energy on things that didn't matter, things I had (have) no control over, things that have been emotionally and physically draining. Today I realized that I needed to stop. Stop trying to please so many people and not myself. Stop struggling with what other people's reactions to things might be and focusing on what my reactions are. Stop struggling to try to live up to other people's expectations and re-evaluating my own.

A year ago, I lost someone close to me, someone who essentially embodied serenity. When my life became too complicated and chaotic for me to deal with and sort out, I could have a conversation with her and at the end of that conversation, I would come away feeling more peaceful and at ease. She used to tell me to calm down, take a time out, and just breathe. To let go of the things I had no control over. In reality, there is very little in this world that I do actually have control over. What I can control is my attitude. I am the one who decides how I react to certain situations. I can control my thoughts. I'm the one who decides whats positive and negative for me and my life. When things get too big for me to envision I need to focus on day to day living. I can't control whats going to happen down the road a week from now, a year from now--the only thing I have control over right now is this very moment. Today I found a few things she had given to me before she passed away, one of them was a copy of the serenity prayer, the same one used and read at her funeral. The first few lines are widely known and used, but those few lines just touch the surface.....

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.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship 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.
- Reinhold Niebuhr


I needed those words today. When I read them I remembered conversations from the past, closed my eyes, and just let everything go. Afterwards, I felt an overwhelming sense of inner peace and calmness. I need to remember that while I can't control everything around me, there are some things I can indeed control, I just have to know the difference.



Today I found serenity.

4 comments:

Jess said...

I'm so glad you're feeling serene. That is such a crucial thing. And a gorgeous photo.

Rachel said...

peace is such a hard thing to find and to keep once you have it. Hope yours lasts long enough.

JEMi said...

Thank you for sharing ... the serenity prayer is beautiful and is such a reminder..

I read your words and I get it. I'm happy that you have found serenity.. that such a gift especially when its so easy to drown in darker emotions.

and day to day living is so powerful. I really wish you the best :) God Bless (( hugs ))

Sissy said...

So glad that you are feeling peaceful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Have a good weekend Mandy from Ohio!