These days, I find that more often than not, when something maddening comes my way in life, I end up having to grit my teeth, close my eyes, breathe and I try to recite the Serenity Prayer (sometimes over and over…):
“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 have had it on a plaque featuring a sad-looking raccoon since I was a kid, but never really took in the message.
No matter what comes our way- job changes, job closings, people/pets we love passing away or moving on too soon, difficulty getting pregnant, a crazy (or lazy) coworker– too often, these things are out of our hands. I constantly have to remind myself that I am not responsible for other people’s moods or lives. The only thing I can control is myself.
Now I feel like this is the time to mention that I am NOT a patient person. I struggle with my temper and my tone and often allow things to fall out of my mouth before I can think about how they may be received. It is a source of both great pride and great guilt for me. I have hurt people I love. I have also stood up for people I barely know. My mother has always said that I was given the gift of sticking up for people who cannot stick up for themselves. For that, I am thankful.
It just seems like as of late, life is just stacking up the hurdles just to watch me fall on my face as I try to leap over them one by one. (You know you’ve seen a similar video on YouTube.) Can a girl catch a break!? Luckily, I am blessed with the most kind, supportive, but honest group of family and friends a girl could dream of. They know me, they get me and they allow me to be myself, warts and all. From time to time, I need gentle and not-so-gentle reminding that spitting out exactly what I think is not always the best plan.
I’m now supposed to be a grown up (YUK). I’m not a kid anymore (says who!?) and I need to start taming my fiery temper (so I’m told). So without knowing I was really doing it, I started chanting the Serenity Prayer. And it’s working! Most times. Really! Eh, I’m a work in progress. Always will be!