In an article that I wrote for Second Chance to Live, article on Second Chance to Live, How to Stop Pushing People Away I shared a quote by Reinhold Niebuhr, “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.” Yesterday, I had the good fortune to spend some time with my mentor. During that time I shared with him some thing that I have been struggling with for quite a few months. The bottom line is that I have been struggling against what I can not change.
During the time with my mentor he shared some thing that clicked for me. The events that I have been struggling with have been stealing my peace and causing unrest in me. He pointed out to me that I am powerless to change these neighbors (although property management has set limits on them). My struggle has been my expectations that they would follow property management. My expectations were creating unrest in me, not what the neighbors were doing or not doing. What my mentor helped me to realize that struggle was with my expectations.
My unrest was due to my expectations of the neighbors, over whom I am powerless to change.
What my mentor helped me to realize was that I needed to get to a place where I accept (not approve) what the neighbors are doing or not doing. What I remembered at this point was some thing I heard another person share in a meeting some time ago, concerning the quote by Reinhold Niebuhr. It does not say, Craig grant Craig the serenity to accept the things that I can not change. What the quote says is, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change. What my mentor shared with me and what I remembered, connected the dots for me.
I could ask a loving God to help me in the process of accepting the things that I could not change…so that I could let go of my expectations, the unrest and have serenity or peace in my life. Since the time with my mentor I have been praying that God would grant me the serenity to accept what I am powerless to change — what my neighbors do or don’t do. What I noticed this evening, when my neighbor started the behavior was that I had serenity. What my mentor had shared with me and what I had heard in a meeting made a huge difference in my response.
What I realize is that I can set limits on people’s behavior by letting management know, but if the behavior does not change, I can let it go. By letting it go and letting God I have peace this evening. The lesson has taught me that I do not need people to do or not do to have peace.
In the event that you have matters that are creating unrest in you, pray the prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I can not change”. By doing so you may also find, as I have; that you have more serenity in your life.
As you have questions, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions and all questions are welcomed. You have my permission to share the articles that I present here on Create a Spark of Hope, however please attribute me as being the author of the article (s) and provide a link back to the article (s) on Create a Spark of Hope. Thank you. Copyright 2015