“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. Amen.”
Most all of us have heard this little, yet powerful, prayer. It seems to bring a calm and peace that is unexplainable. When I read it, it lets me rest in knowing that all is truly well!
I always thought it was a nice little prayer, but really never gave it much thought. When I came across this prayer recently I read it with new eyes and a new understanding. It resonates more deeply with my soul. I’d like to share my new insights of The Serenity Prayer. Maybe it will resonate with your soul, too!
Let’s dissect it phrase by phrase….
Why do we call upon God? Why do we think it matters to talk to God?
Those of us who believe in an eternal higher power love to commune with Him/Her/Them. We feel the tugging of something greater than ourselves. We love knowing that there is a greater, older, wiser, Infinite Intelligence to which we are eternally connected. We love that connected feeling, that Oneness, that there is something greater than this physical life.
Not believing in a higher power certainly does not diminish your value or worthiness. You may simply want to commune with yourself as you read this post. It is my hope that something here will resonate within you, too.
Who is God to you?
From my perspective, God is that all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful One. You may believe in a god/goddess or multiple god-head. For me, God is way bigger than the God I grew up with. Now I refer to that Eternal Infinite Intelligence as Source Energy. The name, God, just doesn’t seem to describe the God that I love and know, now.
I believe God/Source loves us unconditionally and is always flowing it to us whether we’re in a place of receiving it or not. My understanding of the term, unconditional love, means that there is no condition I must change to be loved, shown love or feel love. Bestowing unconditional love means there is no demand for a changed condition to be worthy or deserving of love. We can never be less than worthy!!
In the last several years, my beliefs about God has changed radically. My old beliefs about God just didn’t resonate with my soul, so I let them go. They taught me I was separate from God. So, I found beliefs that felt better, that resonated with my soul and brought me a peace I had never experienced throughout my life. I believe that I am One with God no matter the condition of my life or behavior.
The God I serve now, Source Energy, is unconditionally loving me, approving of me, knows my worthiness. Source never criticizes me or tells me I’m wrong or sinful. Source is always flowing to me unconditional love, well-being, praise, adoration, abundance, and so many blessings.
If I feel bad, it’s not because I am evil or sinful, it’s only because I’m pinching myself off from the constant flow of unconditional love from Source. I’m simply not allowing myself to receive God’s love. When I believe in my worth, that I am love, it feels really good because it’s the same way Source feels about me–so we are in alignment with each other!
Source is always calling me to be the best version of myself that I’ve created, but never demands that I change to experience love and joy. Source always has my back and supports me in everything. I accepted the Truth that I AM an eternal extension of Source Energy living a human experience. It’s amazing what it will do for your attitude when you realize you are Source in the flesh!
As I am aligned with my Inner Source and experience the love and joy flowing to me, I can also feel it flowing through me. This is when I experience changes and the best version of me blossoms into a joyous life experience.
This kind of God resonates clearly with my soul!
I realize that I can’t express everything that God is to everyone. Your individual experience is personal and very real to you. These are just a few thoughts I have about My Source Energy of All-That-Is.
Let’s look at the next phrase in the prayer.
“grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change…”
Why do we want to change anything?
We always want something uncomfortable to change to make us feel better. We typically blame what we are observing to be the reason why we feel bad. Initially, that may be the case because we’re witnessing contrast, and from that, know what we don’t want. But, we immediately know what we do want. We ask for the improvement and as soon as we focus on the solution or improvement, we will feel better. It is not what we are observing that makes us feel bad, it’s what we think about it that makes us feel bad. We are solely in charge of how we feel by what we are thinking.
We can only look at life through our perspective as individuals. So, everyone wants something different because different things make each of us happy. When we observe something that makes us uncomfortable or something we don’t want, someone else may be observing the very same thing and desire it. At the very least, they may desire a different outcome than you would desire.
Notice the prayer is in the first person. So, as we individually ask for peace to accept things out of our control, it is so we, personally, will feel better by releasing the need to change outside forces or circumstances. We can feel better even without things changing if we look to our Inner Source for our happiness and tranquility.
Who decides what things need to change, anyway?!
When life’s contrast or variety causes us to ask for an improvement or new desire, that indicates that we’d like to see a change. We may be in one place and would like to be someplace else. We experience something that we don’t like and immediately know what we do like. We observe someone’s behavior and we allow it to make us feel bad.
So, we make our request to Source when we ask for any improvement. When we make any request, God/Source answers our request with a resounding, Yes! Going to work on our new desire immediately.
This phrase of the prayer is asking for serenity (tranquility, calmness, peacefulness) to accept (allow) things to be different from what I want or how I want things to be that I can’t control.
Most things are out of our control to change. There are so many moving parts. You may get one thing or one person under control and another slips out of place! You could run yourself ragged trying to juggle all the things you don’t like and want to change.
Peace will come when we stop trying to change things that are not any of our business. When we but our noses into other peoples’ business, we will walk around with a kink in our noses a long time. So much will be offensive to us. We will live miserably. Control-freaks do not live a happy and peaceable life!
This part of the prayer is asking for peace to acccept things I cannot control. Simply accepting we don’t have to control everything is freeing. To release the need to control things that are not even mine to control will let me allow them to be as they are. Releasing the control-freak-syndrome is very freeing and brings such peace and tranquility!!
Each of us as constantly asking for change and improvements, every day, all day long. We can never stop asking for improvement. That’s the creative process. There will always be contrast that gives all of us the opportunity to make our preferences. As long as we understand that we can only change ourselves and our thoughts about our relationship with our world, then we can let the rest be whatever it is. Peace will flood our souls!
Let’s visit the next phrase.
“the courage to change the things I can…”
Why do we need the courage to change things?
Courage, by definition, is to persevere through difficulty, especially extreme difficulty. It implies firmness of mind and will, in the face of difficulty. In other words, we need the firmness of mind, determination of our thoughts, to make the necessary changes.
What things can we change?
The only real thing I can change is ME!
We may coerce and manipulate and think we are making changes in others or circumstances, but that is not sustainable. Again, too many moving parts!
Remember, this is a personal prayer written in the first person. So, it’s always from our personal perspective. If each individual saying this prayer would understand that it is only themselves that they must change, our world would be totally in balance and at peace!
The only thing we can make changes to is our thoughts. No one can think one thought for us. Nor can we think a thought for someone else. Our thoughts are ours, alone. Our thoughts are the only thing we have complete control over. But, boy, those thoughts can wreak havoc on us sometimes! It will take great courage to make the necessary changes in ourselves!
Our thoughts feel like they are out of control so much of the time. Our thoughts race and jump from one thing to the next. They feel uncontrollable. We have thousands and thousands of thoughts a day. So, how do we control our thoughts?
We must notice how we feel. Our feelings or emotions will tell on our thoughts every time. We can trust that when we feel good, we are thinking thoughts that don’t need to change. They are already in good shape and heading us in the direction of our highest good.
It’s those pesky bad-feeling thoughts that are the trouble-makers!
When we feel bad, that’s also our emotions telling on our thoughts. Those bad feelings are indicating we’re heading in the direction of things we don’t want or don’t like. It’s letting us know we’re off-balance in our thinking from whom our Inner Being knows us to be.
If we will decide to courageously make feeling good our number one priority, we will be determined to not settle for feeling bad. We will determine to notice how we’re feeling throughout the day. When we notice we’re feeling bad, we can simply choose a better-feeling thought. Even if we have to change the subject to start feeling better.
Distraction is the best and fastest way to find relief if we’re feeling bad from our current thought pattern. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, as long as it feels better and you are soothed. Those bad thoughts are indicating resistance to something you want. To think of something that is soothing will lower your resistance.
As the Universe feels your improved thought, It will send you more like it. As you sustain those good-feeling thoughts, the Universe will yield to the momentum with more pleasurable outcomes.
In this way, you have determined to have courage to make the necessary changes to the only thing of which you are in control. You!
On to the next phrase…..
“and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Wisdom is a beautiful word, to me. It is the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships. It is insight–not outward-sight. It comes from within us–not from looking around what’s outside of us. It comes from deep within, from our very soul or Inner Being.
It’s having the insight to discern the inner qualities of the relationship between what we can and can’t change. It’s putting our knowledge to work. Insight combined with knowledge gives us wisdom!
What’s so great about knowing the difference between what we can and can’t change?
Knowing and understanding what we can and can’t change gives us a sense of relief and peace. It makes life so much easier. When we think we can change something that is bothering us from outside influences, we are heading up a very steep hill. We are in for a battle, unnecessarily.
If you don’t know what battles are yours, you’re going to be a really tired and beat-up soldier!
It’s trusting that all is well. It’s understanding that you will feel the difference, emotionally. Things we cannot change feel like fear, danger, disempowerment, uncertain, risky, and anger because we try to force our control over them. We will fail every time.
Knowing the difference of what we can change feels hopeful, expectant, exciting, exhilarating, certain, and joyous. It feels peaceful beyond description. It may be hard work to change our thought patterns until we practice it a while, but that’s where the determination and courage kick in.
Do you agree?
We’ve all probably said a heart-felt, Amen, at the end of a prayer or in jovial agreement with what someone has said. It’s an expression of solemn agreement or ratification. It’s a hearty approval! By stating, amen, we are standing in agreement with everything that was uttered previously.
So, what are we agreeing with, or approving of, when we say, Amen?
In some Pagan religions, instead of Amen, they say, So Mote it Be. I like that expression of agreement, too, because it is declaring whatever was stated previously has become it–it is done, it is complete. It’s an agreement that what may be unseen has already become from this moment forward. We are all BE-coming!
Here is how I would restate the serenity prayer:
Source Energy, I acknowledge the flow of Your peace through me as I experience things that are not mine to change, allowing them to be what they are; mindfully determined to change my thoughts and beliefs to those that resonate within me, and to discern the inner qualities and find appreciation for, both, things I can and cannot change. I stand in hearty approval on its becoming, now!
I know it’s a tad longer than the original Serenity Prayer. Ha!
What are your thoughts about the meaning of The Serenity Prayer?
Do you have a special memory of praying this prayer?
I’d love to hear your story about this lovely prayer and what it means in your life!
If you enjoyed this post, please comment, like, and share. Thanks in advance!
To your blessed serentiy and joy,
Mary Ann Pack
PS: If you would like to gain the wisdom to know what you can and can’t change, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for your complimentary Joy Empowerment Session. On this phone call, we will discover what are your important issues where you want improvement. We may just find that we are a perfect match for coaching together. To your best life ever!!