Tonight it accurred to me that working a program and studying the steps is living the serenity prayer.
Here is what I mean…..
I am in that place of understanding that It served me best to accept the things that I cannnot change and to give those things to God. As someone who struggles with codependency, this is hard. My default is to want to fix it. I would feel a responsibility to help even when it was never my place to do so. So accepting things for what they are, is amazing.
Courage to change the things I can. This takes action to change things I can. I may not like how someone interacted with me but I am in charge of how I react. I may not like how someone else does something, but it’s ok they do it differently than I do. This new thought process is powerful.
And the wisdom to know the difference. Knowing the difference between what I cannot change and what I can takes prayer and willingness to pause. Hit the pause button. Talk to trusted healthy recovery friends. And to pray about it. Asking for wisdom. That’s huge!
Living one day at a time. Addictive behaviors be it codependency or drugs or alcohol or enter in the vice of your choice here starts as a way to cope with something else. Maybe to avoid feelings or to avoid conflict. Maybe to escape what is really going on. Whatever it is, it becomes part of who you are and how you cope. So then with recovery, we learn a new way of coping. We replace these old behaviors with new healthy ones. This takes efforts, patience and practice to make a new heathy choice. And it’s done one decision at a time, one day at a time.
Enjoying one moment at a time is being present. Enjoying good times and staying present in hard times too. In those hard moments, that is where you find recovery and start to use your new found tools and way of coping. It’s so easy to shut down or go to your vice. But when you don’t and you make the next right choice that is enjoying one moment at a time.
Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. Remember what I just said….being present in hard times too. The darkest nights makes the brightest stars. And hard days lead to better ones and sometimes you just have to hold on until a better day comes. The only way I keep growing into the person God wants me to be is to face hardships and lean into Him to get past them.
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. This sentence always makes me think. You don’t think for a second that when Jesus was here on earth that he didn’t want to change it? He sure could have but he didn’t. He loved the sinner and used their stories to give hope to others. He used ordinary people to show others extraordinary love, courage, strength, grace and hope.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to Your Will. This is about trusting God. He gave us free will, because He wants us to want to have a relationship with Him. Letting go and trusting Him. His will not mine. God has this amazing gift of already knowing the end of the story. Every right choice and every wrong one too. Every time I’ve turned my back on him, His plan was to bring me back and He sent people to meet me where I was and walk along side me. His will in His timing.
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life. Reasonably means in a fair and sensible way. There are days I feel happy and there are days I feel very happy. And there are days that I am not happy at all but I think this word is used because of the next sentence.
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Supremely means well or excellently. Forever in the next it’s a happy that I can’t even imagine. It’s a joy and peace that had no earthly words. The difference between fair and sensible vs well and excellently is miles and miles apart.
This is just my take on this powerful prayer. I say it out loud every morning in the car on the way to work.
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 Jesus 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;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
My journey to serenity continues….