There comes a time in life when irrespective of how much healing or therapy we’ve done, and no matter how many books we’ve read or, we are confronted with the fact that we have no choice but to accept life as it comes, and that we cannot influence the outcomes of every situation that we are faced with. Often, this may leave us stressed, worried and anxious.
With time, we begin to bear grudges that destroy our inner peace. It seems to us that only we are facing hardships when the others are having it easy, or the fact that only we are having to deal with challenging situations or dealing with difficult people and so on. The more hassled we are, the more frustrating it gets and our peace of mind goes for a toss. Stressful moments cause physical and psychological havoc that leads us into a vicious cycle, from which there seems to be no escape.
This is why letting serenity into our lives can work like a balm to the soul. I can say this because it has worked for me, not just once or twice, but a countless number of times. I’ve taken great solace from the wisdom from the serenity prayer that has nudged me to accept things that I am powerless to change and move on from past hurt, bitterness and struggle, especially when the causes have been beyond my power of control and influence. Instead of wallowing in misery, I have found the strength to alter my response to them and thereby offset the suffering to a greater degree than if I hadn’t. But, I must admit, acceptance isn’t easy always. Acknowledging it is perhaps easier but imbibing this as a philosophy for life requires much more than mere intention. It requires grit and perseverance and plenty of patience. And herein lies the challenge.
Like many before me, I took a long time to realise that the serenity prayer is actually not a myth. There is a lot of truth in it. The earlier in life we recognise this truth, the quicker we will learn to accept the challenges that come to us and learn to either accept them with grace or move on since we are powerless to change everything that comes our way. Learning to face the obstacles with grace and not buckle under pressure is probably my biggest takeaway from this prayer.
The Serenity prayer has not only helped me face life’s volleys with grace, but also the challenges that I’ve brought upon myself. It has taken a tremendous amount of courage for me to stop comparing myself to others, to stop running myself down in my own mind when I’ve failed to “perform” well on certain measures, to stop feeling apologetic for being the person that I am, and instead begin to accept myself, warts and all. Truth be told, it hasn’t been easy, but I know I’m getting there, thanks to the fact that I’m a work in progress!
Over time, my Serenity Prayer (see above ) has come to reassure me with a sense of unconditional love towards myself, something that comes from loving oneself wholeheartedly. Again, it hasn’t been easy to follow this but persistence has paved the way to progress and today I feel self-love helps me find comfort, peace and joy because I only have to depend on myself to achieve that and nothing can beat that!
Perfection is no longer my goal but acceptance is, and that paves the way for peace and harmony and balance in life.
If we look at the world outside us, we find serenity all-pervading in nature, in the seasons, in the diurnal movements of the day into night, in the beautiful landscapes and skyscapes, but our inner serenity comes from our inner peace and acceptance of who we are, of life itself and the knowledge that what we cannot control we can only accept with grace and move on.
Serenity is not freedom from the storm, it is peace amid the storm.
Serenity is not freedom from the storm, it is peace amid the storm.
I’m Writing Bravely for the Write Tribe Festival of Words – March 2019.
I used to scoff at the serenity prayer when I was younger, but over time, I’ve come to see the wisdom behind these seemingly simple words. Accepting, surrendering, and trying to maintain our serenity…the sooner we learn this, the smoother life will be!
Oh yes! The beauty of the prayer is that it is so universal in its’ appeal! I’m the same as you, I read deeper into the prayer now—something that I never bothered about, in my younger days.
The earlier in life we recognise this truth, the quicker we will learn to accept the challenges that come to us and learn to either accept them with grace or move on since we are powerless to change everything that comes our way.
Yes. I really wish I had understood this much earlier in life. So much heartache would have been unnecessary.
So beautifully expressed, Esha….as always!
Yes, serenity is truly not freedom from chaos, but finding peace amid that chaos..and something so so difficult to achieve!
I, too, am learning…at times, I feel I have mastered it, at times I feel I haven’t even begun! ;P
So, you added the Health & Wellness category, right?
Thank you so much, Shilpa. Glad you believe that it it is a challenge finding peace amidst chaos in our lives but, that’s the only way to face life with positivity. Some days are harder than the rest so we must be realistic and learn to let go as well. Some battles are best given up if that is the only way to usher in peace in life.
I will be adding this post to the wellness category, yes.
Very nice take and had learnt few points which I will take home from your blog
Thank you. So glad to know you found it useful
I am sure you have written this post keeping me in mind. Serenity prayer is what I and in my opinion all of us need to say. We all are imperfect beings. We all have fallen short in something or the other and might very well have beaten ourselves about it or compared ourselves with others. There is no end to the deep pit all this can take us into. It is important to pull ourselves out of the negstive loop. Thank you for sharing your serenity prayer with us. I am surely going to incorporate it into my daily routine along with positive affirmation I am trying to work with.
I so loved your post . It’s so endearing as only you can make it ! The serenity prayer.. that’s what I needed right now . There are situations in life that are beyond ones control .. it’s frustrating !
I went thru a hard time because a childhood friend’s wife was bad mouthing me on social media without realising that the conversation was not private . Of course my HR got her to apologise or face legal consequences .
I loved Geography in school . It was exciting to learn about different places , their ecosystems and how it impacted the people who lived there and how seamlessly their cultures evolved .. totally in sync with nature ! And then I learnt of the Geography of pain .
Grief comes in many forms, and when it is not expressed, it tends to harden the once-vibrant parts of our being .
We usually tend to carry grief alone and nurture the hope of getting over it. But thousands of years of song and shared sorrow suggest that we might do better to share our pain in some way that opens us to “kindness, compassion and community.”I take a little time now and then to grieve for whatever my losses may have been and try to share my feelings with someone close to me and now I will say the Serenity prayer !
A quote by Khalil Gibran comes to mind …
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
I have to thank a few people here but first with all due respects I will mention Kanchana Sadasivan Jayachandran … for teaching me some very valuable lessons . I would never have known grief in it raw form .. if not for her .
Don’t you think it’s a little unfair that the most important lessons in life are learnt thru sadness and thru loss ! I wish I lived in a fairer world !
Hugs, Aru’di for sharing your thoughts and baring your emotions in response to my post!! I read and re/read your eloquent response many times over. Like you, I too wish we lived in a fairer world but alas we don’t and hence the bitter-sweet experiences that take us through s roller coaster ride every now and then! In fact, your words are still echoing in my head!! Couldn’t agree more on why sharing our pain helps…been there, so I hear you, Aru’di. Some people come into our life to leave us with good memories, while the rest leave us with invaluable life lessons!! Sadness and loss does emerge as our greatest teacher in life!!