Serenity means staying within the eye of the hurricane, in the midst of chaos and calamity. Serenity means not panicking when the tides are too high, or too low. Serenity means having inner peace when your outer being is disturbed.
Serenity is a skill. It’s a superpower.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people recite the serenity prayer. Some even go as far as getting it tattooed on their skin. Well, I have it tattooed in my heart.
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.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr
Didn’t know that there was a whole second half, now did you? A lot of people recite this prayer, and it IS a prayer, incompletely. Niebuhr was a theologian and a minister that was also marveled as an intellectual. He developed the philosophical perspective known as Christian Realism. Some would call this an oxymoron; Christian & Real.
It’s actually quite interesting. When you look at the first four lines of the prayer, it’s real. He asks God for serenity, but then goes into accepting the things he cannot change, and the courage to change the things he could. The driving point is having the wisdom to know the difference. Where would this wisdom come from though?
All wisdom comes from the Lord,
and so do common sense
~ Proverbs 2:6
Common sense isn’t so common, because people are turning away from the light of wisdom.
In my spiritual, personal, and professional journey, I’ve adopted a framework that transcends all three. There’s been so many storms, so many hurricanes, that I’ve found a certain peace within it all.
Peace doesn’t exist in the absence of these storms but in its presence. It’s easy to be at peace when you have it all. When you’re spiritually sound, self-actualized, and professionally developed. But when the attacks come, when the storms come, when the drought is here, what will you do?
Accept them as they come. I’ve been adopting this philosophy that there is no pursuit of happiness, but happiness is found in the pursuit. Happiness is the journey. Happiness is found in the midst of sadness. Accept it all. All of your emotions. All of your successes and failures, it’s yours, embrace it. For it is proof that you are a living and breathing testament to all things good on this Earth.
If you’re being tested, take that as a sign that your testimony is coming.
If you’re going through a trial, take that as a sign that your triumph is coming.
If you’re going through a mess, take that as a sign that your message is coming.
As it is said, so shall it be.
The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
~ Exodus 14:14