I try not to use the same picture twice for any of my blog posts, but this is what it is today. It’s all about the Serenity Prayer.
This morning I was feeling kinda sad. Truth be told, I started out feeling pissed, but I decided to dig deeper to uncover what was beneath the anger. It was sadness. That is often the case for most of us. Much of the time, “mad” is the scapegoat for “sad.” It’s just easier to feel angry.
My first inclination when I’m feeling down is to assume I’m just missing Chandler. Sometimes it’s more than that. Losing Chandler was not my first or sole opportunity to feel sad during this lifetime, though it does garner its own special category. I can’t imagine any sadness I could feel that would come close. Be that as it may, I don’t get to put all other points of sadness on the back burner until the overwhelm of this season dissipates. And I’m being optimistic to assume that it will in fact, at some point, begin to dissipate.
So once I identified exactly what it was I was feeling, I decided my best course of action was to sit quietly in nature and just feel my sadness.
After church, I grabbed my backpack and threw in my journal and purple gel pen, along with my new paperback treasure — The Choice. I am certain that Dr. Edith Eva Eger and the wisdom in this book will be my lifelong companions.
I walked up to a special bench at the top of Dove Canyon. The bench that sits in front of the Serenity Prayer plaque. This was a perfect preface to my journaling and reading. It was also a favorite spot for Chandler.
I read the words in front of me — 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.
I remembered Dr. Eger’s words — It’s easier to hold someone or something else responsible for your pain than to take responsibility for ending your own victimhood.
I decided to own my feelings of sadness instead of blaming someone else or trying to fix them. The way to freedom is to accept what is — whatever situation has prompted my sadness — not to ruminate over what isn’t or what I wish would be. Then I can see my next steps more clearly. Is there something I can do now to change the situation?
Most of the time, it’s my attitude. If I change my attitude (my perspective or outlook), I can probably settle in and find contentment whether the situation or circumstances change or not. I realize this is not always the case. Sometimes a situation calls for clear action, a change of behavior. A moving out of an unhealthy circumstance.
I journaled and prayed. As I reflected on the particular situation that had triggered my feelings of sadness, I admitted to myself that I was blaming someone else for actions that were in my own domain to take or not take. I could continue to blame someone else and outsource my happiness, or I could take responsibility for my own sense of fulfillment. This was a small breakthrough for me. An experiment in trying something new.
As I packed up my things and flung my backpack on my shoulder, I prayed…
God, I know you are doing something in me….paving the way to freedom. I know I won’t walk this out perfectly. It will be one day at a time. Practicing one situation at a time. Thank you, thank you for your patience. You have tried in so many ways for so long to teach me these things, and yet you just keep filing my “inbox” with loving, gentle messages. I’m finally starting to get it. You are so good to me. Amen.