~ The Serenity Prayer ~
Part Four


Dear Friends On The Journey ~

As a compulsive overeater, I have been writing to you about a prayer that means a lot to me. The Serenity Prayer. In parts one through three, I wrote of the specialness of this beautiful prayer that has become my mantra. I spoke of the word "serenity" and why I felt that word was used. And in part three I talked of acceptance ..... and how long it took me before I could do that. Many times I begin and end the Serenity Prayer with just that first sentence .... God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. That seems to be enough ..... but only at times.

"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."

The COURAGE to change the things I can. There are many different "personalities" in this world of ours. Sometimes a personality is very non-confrontational. And there are risks to changing certain things. And that's where courage comes in. Many times if we are basically someone who tippy toes around life and cringe when things must be changed ... we tend to want to just leave things as they are.

There was a time I used to be like that. There might be something in my life I was having difficulty with ... but that was safe ... and comfortable. Like an old shoe. Or a good friend. But on occasions that old shoe got a hole in the sole .... or rubbed a blister on my heel. And that "good" friend turned out to be toxic. And caused pain. Then, my friends, is where the Serenity Prayer comes in. The COURAGE to change the things we can. No problem with the shoe. Just throw the old pair in the garbage and go buy a new pair. But in the case of the friend ... a completely different story. We can't change people ... we can only change ourselves. If there is someone in our life causing us unhappiness and pain .... it is quite possible that that individual can't or won't change. And there is no reason why he/she should. Until someone reaches a point in their life to make behavioral changes, it is very close to impossible to make these changes for someone else.

So when we say "The courage to change the things we can," we are not talking about changing others. We are mainly talking about changing ourselves. Many times we must set boundaries ... and, in doing so, things change. But all we can do is set the boundary and enforce it .... and that is where the word "courage" comes in .... because in setting boundaries, there is a risk. The risk is that the other person will not honor the boundaries. In fact, in some case, they will not even ACKNOWLEDGE the boundaries.

So there's the risk.

To implement or not.

And there's that word ....


Dear God,
Grant me the courage
to change the things I can.

Love in recovery,
The Recovery Group

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