~ The Serenity Prayer ~
Part Three


Dear Friends On Our Journey ~

As a person with a compulsive disease, I have done a lot of praying in my time. My name is Mari and I am grateful for all the tools of recovery. I'm glad you're on this journey with me and that I can share my thoughts with you as we make our way to that place we are going to know as recovery.

"God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference."

In Parts One and Two of my Journey to Recovery on the Serenity Prayer, I told you how much it meant to me ... that it was my favorite prayer ... and that I thought I could live out my life with just this one prayer if I had to.

In Part Two, I focused on why the word "serenity" was used and mentioned how long it took me to realize that was a perfect word to use rather than some of the others I, at first, thought might have been a better choice.

I'd like to write about another word. The word found in the first sentence of the Serenity Prayer. The word "accept."

"Grant us the serenity to ACCEPT the things we cannot change."

Let's face it. Most of us have lived long enough by now to know that there are things that no matter how hard we try we simply are never going to be able to change them. When I was younger I wasn't aware that I wasn't even "supposed" to try to change people, places and things all the time to suit the way **I** wanted them to be. To fulfill MY needs. To make my life and my world a little bit better.

The word "accept" was not a very big part of my vocabulary. Much too frustrating for me. Recovery changed all that. Life started the thought process which ultimately changed it ... but recovery gave me the freedom to change. Learning to accept, I believe, was the biggest gift the program of recovery offered me and I doubt there has been a single day that has gone by that I have not uttered those words .... "God, grant me the serenity to ACCEPT the things I cannot change."

To accept a set of circumstances is difficult sometimes. On the other hand, it is also freeing .... it says to us that we need to work less hard. Many times, I am sure, I set about trying to change others .... because I didn't want to change myself. We sometimes do that to take our minds off everything we need to work on within our own programs. It's far easier to change other things sometimes than ourselves.

I've reached a point in my life that I now accept my husband. I didn't for a long time. I wanted him to be more like the Prince Charming I thought I had married. :-) My White Knight ... the man who would make all my dreams come true. I will forever be making amends to him for wanting him to be someone other than who he is .... because who he is is really quite wonderful.

And then there were my four children. It took a lifetime to accept them as they are. I suppose I thought I had four little clones of their father and me .... HA! They grew up and quickly let me know that I had no choice other than to accept them as they were. And I did. And I am so proud of who they are .... far more so than I would have been had they remained those children in my illusions. Acceptance. My family. My husband and my children.

I am accepting life on life's terms these days. It is SO difficult for me. Some days I can hardly manage to squeak out the words .... I accept you. I accept this. But I am trying. As hard as I have ever tried anything in my life.

Dear God,
Please help me to accept people, places and things.
Help me to know the meaning of true acceptance,
Most of all, help me to accept the things I cannot change.

Love in recovery,
The Recovery Group

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