Seeking Serenity? You imagine yourself calmly, peacefully handling each crisis, gracefully, without losing your cool. You appear calm, in control, dressed, showered, well rested. People are listening to you, respecting your input. Perhaps in your fantasy there are no crisis, no overdue deadlines or overbearing supervisors, no dirty laundry or ear infections, dog vomit, or tantruming toddlers.
Well, as I frequently remind my clients, I do not have a magic wand or formula for removing undesireable realities, but I can offer practical tools for managing the less desireable aspects of daily family life, more gracefully. How we react to adversity is entirely up to us.
Enter: my very favorite life preserver; the Serenity Prayer. This prayer, mantra, or
affirmation, has been popularized by the 12 step alcoholics anonymous groups since the middle of this century, but was a well known prayer on its own prior to its association with addiction
recovery. Use it how you feel most comfortable with or without reference to “God”. Just use it! Whether you identify as a person in recovery or not, it can be an extremely valuable tool
for all of us.
Use it when you are about to loose your cool with your spouse or children. Use it when you are late for work and your son refuses to wear the only clean cloths in house whining “I only like red
pants…” Repeat it silently when you want to strangle a co-worker.
Cling to it in desperate times of self doubt.
(God) Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the
Repeat it frequently, in time of need and in time of relative calm! Train yourself to default to this mantra and it will lead you closer to a rational calm response!
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