In this time of uncertainty I was thinking of ways to deal with this new world. I came up with some ideas on prayer, specifically the serenity prayer. The serenity prayer has been with me for the last 33 years of continuous sobriety. Lets see if these few ideas help you deal with life.

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference".

Start with the identification of what problems you are experiencing.

Categorize problem(s) into "Things I can change" and "Things I cannot change"

Accept the things I cannot change: There are many things we cannot change, such as past behaviors or decisions. Accepting them for what they are may be difficult but necessary. Example. If you made a bad decision, you cannot go back in time to change it, you will have to accept it.

Accepting it means you acknowledge the mistake and take responsibility for that action. Then you accept that it is done and cannot change the action but can try to move past this error by correcting the consequences that are occurring now or will occur. Or simply work on being better for that day.

Note: If it does relate to addiction, as in the 12 step program, it is an acceptance that using caused significant problems and the acceptance of the consequences that occurred because of the use.

Courage to change the things I can (change): You may not be able to change the past, but you can change what you do in the future. ex. If you over spent on an item or an activity-you cannot go back and change this decision, but you can budget to compensate or take on an extra shift, etc.

Courage to change helps to redirect energy onto what to do with your situation, instead of worrying on what happened. Many people become consumed with negative feelings and feel helpless with their situation. This statement asks for strength to make the necessary changes.

In order to make changes, identify what can be changed and create a plan on how you will make this change. Plan needs to be very specific in action and time frame. (you can always go back and edit plan if necessary)

Courage to know the difference: This is the key. Do not waste time over the things that are already done. You can be sad, sorry, make amends, but focus your energy on what you want to change and how you are going to complete that task.

More Tips

The serenity prayer can bring a sense of peace or direction when a person is feeling overwhelmed with stress or problems.

The actual saying is "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" It was developed in 12 step programming for addictions. The concept is that you are to pray to a God or a higher power for help. This is still a beneficial prayer or mantra, if you struggle with the spirituality part. In addition, It can be used by everyone regardless if in a 12 step program.

As always I remain hopeful.

Ernie R. 954-213-3923

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