I've always loved the Serenity Prayer, (on the left). But, how difficult it is to put it in practice. When you are confronted with things that you cannot change, the last thing you have, usually, is serenity. Normally, at that point, we have anger or fear most likely and I guess it is those feelings that actually prevent us from accepting anything, and instead we resist, creating what I see in my mind as a wall, where my emotions end up landing, breaking in little pieces, achieving nothing. And, of course, courage to change things is also extremely difficult. Do we speak up when we need to? Do we fight for justice? In theory, yes. In practice?
But, most important, how do we know the difference? How do I know if reading one more article about a health issue is going to help me when I'm frantically looking for answers or if it would just be better to accept what's in front me without understanding it because that knowledge will not help me in any way?How do I know if I need to have a particular fight, because I think the result may be an improvement, when all I really need to do is relax and accept that things are the way they are and I may just as well enjoy the moment?
Well, I just don't know, but I do think that acceptance of our present situation is always a good start, even if in the end we also need to change it. Simon Sinek, an author I discovered through this TED talk, How Great Leaders inspire Action, writes in this article that we of should "proact" instead of react to situations:
In his article, he just tells us one example of this: when confronted with the possibility of missing a train because of traffic, instead of panicking and getting upset at himself because he left his house late, he starts "proacting," that is, thinking of what he needs to do if he does miss the train (call clients, find out when the next train is, etc.). He then feels more relaxed and feels he has changed the situation "from a race to a game." For him, "proacting" is accepting and I like his idea because, in my mind, just accepting something is too hard. We do want to "do" something.
When we react, we look to point fingers and assign blame (to others or ourselves) for the existence of the situation. We work to compensate or prevent bad things from happening.When we proact, we accept the situation as fact and start looking for solutions or alternatives. We work to make good things happen.
I don't know. Like I said, I'm learning. This blog is my scrapbook of ideas and I know that I will have to come back to read this one often.