No one ever said life would be easy. We’ve all heard that phrase dozens if not hundreds of times from our parents or in a myriad of quotations by everyone from Marie Curie to Hillary Clinton and Soren Kierkegaard to David Bach.
The fact is life is not easy. It is good, wonderful, precious and miraculous, but it is not easy. Life brings with it storms of various sizes and
durations such as the loss of a job, divorce, illness, disappointment, accidents, being let down by people, bullying and the loss of loved ones.
No one, no matter how rich or famous or powerful, is immune to the trials and tribulations of life. What can we do to find peace and contentment when things seem chaotic? Many people find prayer, meditation or mindfulness helpful during tough times.
One of the most famous prayers/meditations is the Serenity Prayer by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Serenity defined is the state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled. That sounds all well and good, but when you’re in the middle of one of life’s storms it’s almost impossible to remain calm.
That’s where the beauty of this prayer shines through:
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.
Simple. Straightforward. Concise. Much of what happens is not in our control and we can’t do much about it. Some of what happens we can control and we do have the power to make changes in our thoughts, actions and reactions. If we can focus on what we can change and not worry about what we can’t, it will help us reach the serenity we need in those difficult times.