Ethicist and thinker Reinhold Niebuhr said, “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.” Many times you think you may want something, and when you eventually get it, you realize it’s not what you really wanted after all. The fantasy of that thing seemed so appealing and the reality was starkly different. The catch 22 is that until you actually experience something you may not know how you feel about it. So then how can you decipher what you really want from what you think you want? Where and how does your intuition come in and how do you shut out all the noise, encourage serenity and garner the wisdom to know the difference between the two?
Much of the cause of our discontent is distraction from the present. This is where accepting the things you cannot change comes in. Because when you can finally get out of that fantasy and accept the reality, you realize what is possible, what is impossible and what you really want. And of course with peace comes happiness in what you already have because in the present it is easier to see what makes you happy and what does not. While you may have thought you were missing something huge, this combined serenity and wisdom may tell you something different.
Lately I have been surrendering quite a bit; Mainly, surrendering to the things I cannot change and accepting what is actually happening around me. As we live in a material obsessed society, this is an easy concept to think about, but not always an easy one to live out. Last week I came across a few barriers and I realized the only way to change those circumstances was to accept them and try as best I could to let them go because, quite frankly, doing the opposite had become a burden I no longer needed or wanted to carry. And once I felt at peace with that reality, I could move on, and even more so change my circumstance. Thinking about that now, it’s a bit ironic that in trying to phase out the wanting I realized I didn’t really want to want it anymore.
However annoying it or stressful it may be there are a handful of techniques and maneuvers you can take on the path to acceptance. And though I could bombard you with a slew of different ideas, and methods to focus on I will leave you with the one that has worked the best for me. And in truth, it is both the easiest and the hardest one. It is to just let it be. I encourage you to just let it be. And to do it with as much grace and ease as you possibly can. I’ll let you decide how to do that. Perhaps it’s by writing, or meditating or taking a walk, talking to a friend, or taking a kick boxing class; find a way to release and accept the things you cannot change and the things you can change will become more clear.
Do not wish, do not want and do not desire an outcome. But instead hold complete understanding that you are where you are for a reason and that in time you will garner the strength and courage to accept your serenity and change what you can. Until then, enjoy the ride and just let it be.