As I mentioned in the July Ah-Man Newsletter, I want to share how the Serenity Prayer (also known as the 12-Step Prayer) has helped me see things from a different perspective. I hope that you will share with me your experiences, as well.
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.
For me at first, the first line of this prayer was just that: one line of a prayer. But later, when I was alone and repeated the first line over and over to myself, I began to experience many different aspects of those words.
For example, the first three words: “God grant me.” I am not asking for something as in other prayers, e.g., “God, give me my daily bread.” Here, I am asking for a grant; asking God to “allow me” in His time, not my time. To know that I am being allowed God’s grace. Even though I know that this is what God wants for me, I respectfully ask God to allow me. I also am not asking for others. This is between the God of my understanding and me. Not between or for anyone else.
The next two words, “the serenity,” when brought together with the first three words, brings this meaning to me: God/Divine Mother, allow me the tranquility…peacefulness…stillness… calmness…composure…allow me to receive those very things that are within me, instilled by you.
“To accept the things I cannot change” is the last part of the first line. In the July Ah-Man Newsletter, I spoke of Surrendering, a reference to spiritual surrender. The Serenity Prayer translates the concept of spiritual surrender into words.
The spiritual surrender comes about because you have done all you can and, most likely, the outcome is out of your control, so you are asking God to “allow” you to feel the peacefulness in the midst of a situation that has a different outcome than you would have liked. You have done all you could. However, the situation hasn’t changed to your liking and now that you know everything comes to us from God, you are asking to be allowed to see that in this situation.
Next week, we’ll examine the second line of the prayer.