Contentment with yourself and others. Complete peace of mind. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life could be lived this way all the time?
However, an everyday challenge can pose itself and suddenly any sense of tranquillity is a million miles away. It’s easy to become stressed, but with the right approach your inner calm can return.
So what’s the secret? For me it’s the recognition that it is a choice. Serenity isn’t passivity. It’s not inertia. Rather, it’s a series of decisions and actions that deal positively with a negative situation.
Recently, someone I trusted and loved committed to do something important and meaningful in my life. They let me down without explanation or regret. In the past their disloyalty and rejection would have sent me into a downward spiral of depression and alcohol abuse. I would have wasted hours wondering what I had done wrong or just ‘why me?’
Instead I chose to look at things differently. I accepted the fact that I could nothing to change the situation. The other person wasn’t going to take responsibility so I had a choice to make. Feel bitter and hurt, or make a decision to overcome my disappointment and offence.
I often refer to the well-known 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.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr.
In this instance I knew that for my own peace of mind I had to ‘let it go.’ I had to accept the things I couldn’t change and find the courage the change the things I could. It required a combination of determination, perseverance and prayer but it was worth it. It freed me of resentment and allowed me to move on.
When life leaves you feeling battered and betrayed it can be hard to contemplate change. The unknown can be infinitely more fearful than the known. The more vulnerable you are the harder it can be to step out of the comfort zone.
Trust you intuition and remember that the right decision is often not the easiest. Learn from the difficulties of the past and embrace the newness of the future.
Wasting your energy and time on trying to change others will only leave you disconnected and frustrated. Choose to forget what you can’t do and focus on what you can.
Today I choosing serenity. Are you?