Find Serenity – A Meditation on the Prayer by Paul Babin (Revised)

Find Serenity – A Meditation on the Prayer by Paul Babin (Revised)


God, grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom
to know the difference. 27 words that describe a road to higher
consciousness by practicing acceptance, accessing courage, and applying wisdom. It starts with a request for serenity, “the state of being calm, peaceful,
and untroubled.” The word “serenity” derives from a Latin word meaning “unclouded.” What clouds our ability to remain peaceful
and calm? The most toxic clouds disturbing my peace and calm come from judgmental thinking. We are judgmental
when we characterize someone or something, in a critical way, and there is a negative emotion attached to it. Judgemental thinking divides the world
into two categories: good or bad right or wrong, with me or against me. We are in judgment when we compare ourselves to others and when we create separation between ourselves and others. We are in judgment when we are
self-righteous, or blaming and when we take comfort in victimhood. If you take away only one thing from
this meditation, make it this: When I judge I suffer. God grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom
to know the difference. So, if judging makes us suffer, how do we avoid it when dealing with life’s challenges? The answer is to practice Acceptance. Acceptance is the antidote to judgment. Now, you might be thinking, “What if someone is doing something to upset or hurt me? Does Acceptance mean I let it continue without responding?” Acceptance is not about “if” you respond, but “how.” When we accept a difficult person or a
challenging situation – without judgment – we disconnect from the emotional entanglement that judgment creates. We are able to be discerning, “Discerning” means – to decide what is working for me, what is not working for me, and then, what to do about it. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the
courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. When we move from judgement to
Acceptance we experience a clarity that helps us recognize that there are some things we cannot change. It can be liberating when we
realize it’s not worth putting the effort into trying to change someone’s opinion or attitude, to let it go and move on. When we find the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, And stop giving our attention to people and things outside of us, we often find ourselves turning inward becoming aware of the relationship we have with ourselves. And that’s when important changes can start to unfold. God, grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference. In the clarity that
comes with Acceptance, we’re able to recognize when a situation is not working for us, and realize that sometimes – we must change it. It might be
ending a relationship, or asking for a raise that’s long
overdue. It might be setting personal boundaries with someone who doesn’t
respect them. These are examples of changing the world around
us. We might decide that something must change, and that something is “me.” When we look at the lives of highly successful people, we see that, what they have in common is the ability to take stock of their habits, their beliefs, and behaviors to toss out the ones that don’t work and replace them updated habits, beliefs, and behaviors. One of the most courageous commitments to change we can make, is the decision to love ourselves more. and prove it by committing to learning
something new or exercising for an extra five minutes, or making time to be creative. And when we commit to change, on the inside, we begin to appreciate on a whole new level the definition of the word “accept,”
which is to receive. God, grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom
to know the difference. What does “courage” have to do with change? There is a part of our thinking mind, called “the ego” that is programmed to resist change. This part of our and it’s number
one weapon in resisting change is judgment combined with fear. It’s not unusual when we decide to change a habit or do something different for our ego show up in our thoughts and words, and it often sounds like this, “I can’t do this. This is wrong. Who do I
think I am? What if I fail? Then what?” Once again our strongest choice in
dealing with our ego is Acceptance and to simply watch it with a detached attitude
of – “isn’t this interesting,” and then to courageously continue. But how can we find the courage to do that, when
our ego questions our self-confidence? When it reminds us with fear that we are
entering uncharted territory, and we don’t know how it will turn out. The answer is in the word “courage” itself. It turns out that the Latin root “cour” means “heart.” And what life and spiritual traditions throughout time teach us, is that the most powerful force in the universe, is love and that our heart is where we experience love as well as our creativity, connection to Higher Power, every other being on the planet. And of course our heart is the gateway
to our deepest feelings. And so, to be courageous, is to be heart-centered and vulnerable. Doing something different
with no guarantees is to risk feeling temporary pain. In my experience, the pain that comes
with being vulnerable carries with it a feeling of being alive. The suffering that comes from trying to be invulnerable, trying not to feel – is like a slow death. God, grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom
to know the difference. When we are challenged in life, do we
accept and move on, or courageously choose to change it? What’s the right choice? We finish the prayer by asking for wisdom to know
this answer. in my life, the answers have come from a
greater intelligence. and experience. My ability to access the wisdom of a greater intelligence, a higher power, is directly related to the effort I put into quieting my mind, quieting ego’s voice of judgment, fear, and distraction. The wisdom of the universe is delivered in a language that comes through my heart rather than my head. It can be subtle and easily missed if I am out of practice, if I have let days go by without meditating, being in nature, or connecting with people. The wisdom to know the difference is a product of my life’s journey. My experience of choosing, moving one step forward, seeing what happens, learning, and applying that to the next choice. Choose. Take a step. See what happens. Look at the learning, and apply to the next choice. And the trick is – to do this without judgment. God, grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference. I’d like to invite you to the try one
or all of these things today: First notice any judgments in your
thoughts or words; notice how you feel in that moment. Second, consider the possibility of not
changing something or someone. What would it feel like to let go of being right? Third, think about one small change in your life that could have a significant impact on your well-being. Then ask yourself, “What keeps me from doing that?” Fourth, ask Higher Power for help regarding all of the above today. And one of the most powerful ways to ask for that help is to pause and say the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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