Wisdom and the Rest of the Prayer.

Whenever I hear the word wisdom, I think of King Solomon. He was supposed to have prayed for wisdom and also received it. In the context of this prayer, we are asking for wisdom to know the difference. The difference between acceptance and change, and when we should do either one.

I don’t think I’m a very wise person. In fact, I look back and some of the things that I have done are really stupid. I wonder where my brain was when I decided those things. But praying for wisdom; that’s just a step up. We are coming to the Lord and saying we don’t know what we should do and asking Him to help us. We have to be humble to ask this.

To be humble is to admit that you are not a good judge of a situation. Perhaps you are too close to the situation to determine what should happen. To be humble you need to acknowledge that you are not in control. To be humble you need to have a peace about letting God have control. To be humble to listen to the Lord and do as He tells you.

He may speak to you through the scriptures, or perhaps a good friend who you trust. Always seek counseling with others because you may be too close to the situation to make a good decision.

The rest of this prayer is about humility. Living only one day at a time; which is all the that Lord has promised us. Enjoying what is happening now; not letting the past or future ruin what joy there is in a day. Accepting any hardship, knowing that the Lord will get us though it. Doing what the Lord would have us do because blessings will always come with following the Lord.

This whole prayer is one that can help you live your life. It encompasses living in the Lord in a few sentences. Since doing this blog about the Serenity Prayer I think that I will have to take it more to heart then I’ve done in the recent past. I’ve reminded myself why I used to pray this a lot. I don’t have Joe to take care of anymore, but this prayer is too good to set aside.

Acceptance

Now that I’ve written about Serenity, I guess I have to tackle the next line in this prayer. I’ve been putting this off a bit because acceptance is really, really hard. We don’t want to accept things, the way life is. We want the power to change things to the way WE want them. Acceptance means giving up control.

This is really hard to write about. I’ve had my struggles with acceptance for years. I want to control what happens. I want the outcome of any situation to be the outcome I envisioned. Of course this is totally self-centered. It’s so hard to think that you do not have control.

But this acceptance is about the “Things I Cannot Change”. There is a lot of stuff you can’t change. If you just look around you, especially at the people around you, you cannot change them. If you look at your situation, the trials and the problems, you may find a way to change that, but in most situations you can’t.

I fought against this for years. I didn’t want to be stuck taking care of my husband. I wanted him healthy but I knew that wasn’t going to miraculously happen. Now that sounds horrible, but it was the truth. Life was so hard. I had acquaintances say to me that they “Didn’t want to be me” or “Better you than me”.

Now that hurt sometimes, but I finally found an acceptance in saying “It is what it is…” When I went to my counselor I explored this. We went over my situation and there was truly nothing I could do to change it. Oh, I could leave my husband and try to make a “new” life, but I personally couldn’t do that. I couldn’t leave him to struggle on his own, so that left me right where I was.

The bottom line of this is that it takes a while to “Accept the Things you Cannot Change”. I still struggle with this now, but in a different way. Life is always going to hand us situations that we can do nothing about. Now, I have learned to bow my head in prayer and try to put these situations in His Hands.

Walking this Journey

You may recognize the “sign-post” that I have up. It’s the stages of grief. Anyone who has been to a counselor or therapist should know the stages. I joked with my counselor that I was so acquainted with them I knew them by heart.

You see, any loss be it a job, a move, any large changes in your life will kick in with some of these stages. We who are caregivers should be very well acquainted with them, indeed. We feel the grief when our family member is diagnosed with a terminal condition. They haven’t died yet, but we are already starting down that road of denial, anger, bargaining and depression. And while we are caring for our terminal family member, even if it’s for a short time, we may “move around” from one stage to another and back again. And just because we get to acceptance doesn’t mean we’re through grieving.

The one I got stuck in more than others was depression. That one is a killer. I read once that depression is anger turned inward. We can’t just be angry at the one we’re caring for so we stuff that anger and then feel guilty for being angry in the first place. I took a mild anti-depressant while taking care of Joe. I needed it so I could focus at my work and be functional in my life. I also went to a counselor, someone who is not judgemental who could listen to all my frustrations.

We all need an outlet for our feelings. Find someone, whether it’s a counselor, therapist or just a very understanding friend, who you can talk openly to. Someone who can listen to your frustrations and anger and not let it bother them. Someone who understands. If you need to use anti-depressants to help you get through your journey, because this is a journey, not just a little side trip off the road of life, then use them.

These stages are going to be a large part of your journey. Please find someone to help you walk through it.