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Serenity Prayer Keeps Showing Up

February 4, 2008

Ok, I look at patterns. I actually look for patterns in everything. I especially have been looking at my actions and reactions and what seems to surreptitiously show up when I am reading blogs, emails, newsletters and books.

I have been singularly focused on getting over whatever this is that I have been going through (can you say teenage angst 20 years too late, also called depression, social anxiety disorder and possibly others that the DSM-V hasn’t given a name to just yet). Anyway, my pattern previously has been to get over it as quickly as possible so I can get on to the better stuff in front of me.  You know pretend it just ain’t there.  Pretend it’s hallucination and it’s not real.

Only this time I am noticing a very distinct pattern that keeps showing up over and over and over. I am certain it’s been present before but since I was myopic, focused only on getting over it, I never gave the pattern the attention it deserved.

Direct from Wikipedia,

The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer written by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the 1930s or early 1940s.

and the original prayer according to the entry in Wikipedia goes,

O God and Heavenly Father,
Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; the courage to change that which can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

I have been convincing, trying to convince, preaching to myself, that I am worthy. The problem – preachers stand at the front of a congregation and most of the time can’t, don’t, won’t look at themselves. OK these are the preachers I know, like the one that lived across the street from me and m*lested me and his two younger brothers for years.

He has even apologized to me for his errors. His errors? How is it an error when you haven’t stopped? An error gets corrected, right?

I actually tried to listen to one of the CD’s he recorded because I want to pride (which goeth before the fall) myself on being forgiving and all that jazz. It left me cold, with goose pimples and a rage that I didn’t realize had been simmering for so long. This was one of those deadly hot rages with a cold, cold center.

Now he has convinced his younger brother to apologize to me for sins that he forced his younger brother to commit against me. What the fuck?

I want to work on using the serenity prayer in my life.  I want to, I it seemed to be taking so long to just bring myself to DO something, anything.

I believe I set some really impossible standard for myself years and years ago.

I have and never will live up to that standard because the standard itself is flawed.

A while back now, I read these words

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage. — Lao Tzu

Thank you Wendy .   I didn’t really get it, when I read it way back when and now it’s becoming more apparent.  Lao Tzu never said who that someone had to be and what I am now seeing is that someone has to be me.

So, now even though I might not leave the house, except to go on a walk with my dogs or carry my mother to and from her job, I am creating a new habit of practicing self acceptance while I groom.  It ain’t easy being keen on yourself, yet I now have the courage to face ME every morning in the mirror and accept whatever happens to stare back.

So I can’t change what happened.  I don’t have to accept apologies from my m*lestors.  I don’t need one from his victim.  I am apologizing to myself and loving my self in spite of the past and I know that I can’t change my past.  I also am finding the courage to face each day, as it is.  Patterns, habits, consistency they can all be good.  Today is good.  Tomorrow, well, that’s tomorrow.

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One Comment
  1. February 4, 2008 4:38 pm

    That sounds really good, Ria!

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