Monday, February 11, 2008

Serenity Prayer

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
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

There is such a relief in finding something that you cannot change, accepting it, dealing with that fact and just making the most of what you have. And the realization that we can't change something is tough for us many times, especially for me.

I'm not a control freak exactly. I don't long to control everyone's lives around me. But I do like to feel like I have a say in what happens in my own life and in the lives of those closest to me. I want to believe that I can affect change on the world around me. And I dislike being told that there is nothing that I can do. I'm just what I like to think of as a "do-er".

Not necessarily a bad thing, unless you can't accept that there are things that you cannot do anything about. PERIOD. And I'm working on that. I'm working on identifying those things early on, and letting go of them, working around them as they stand.

Right now, that means that I am accepting some changes that have happened at work. I haven't fought them, exactly. But I have been stubborn to truly accept that they are permanent changes that I dislike and would not have chosen. In many ways, these changes have stolen the joy I found doing my job. I do still have moments where I look at what I do and think, "Wow...I'm glad I get to do this," but those moments are becoming fewer and further apart. More often, I am pulled down by my secret resentment of the changes. I waste precious energy on this resentment and it does nothing to change the situation, or to change me in a positive way.

So now that I have identified that I cannot change the situation, I have decided to make the best of what I have, or to remove myself from the situation completely. And for lack of courage to remove myself at this time, I am just resolving that it will never be to me what it once was. I will never look at the people around me through the same view. I will not experience the same feeling of pride from doing what I do. Instead, I take the moments that cause me to smile, or the "thank you" from a customer and hold those close to my heart as a reason to press through.

And you know what, it gives me serenity.

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