Do you want more peace in your life?
One way to get more peace is to learn skills that prevent you from taking on stress that really isn’t yours to keep.
To illustrate this, I’ll turn to the Serenity Prayer, a common fixture in many 12-Step Programs:
“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.”
Let’s pull out the tweezers and poke around in this:
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”:
Every time we wish a person, place or situation is different than it is, we create suffering for ourselves (there’s that factory at work). We may not like what is happening but it IS happening nonetheless.
Question: How might life be different if you choose not to swim against the current of what is actually happening, but instead meet it?
“The courage to change the things I can”:
This can be a tough one because the truth is the only things you have control over are things directly related to YOU: Your actions, beliefs, thoughts, reactions, etc. Many people think that addressing these things can be quite difficult and really take courage. It is much easier to take issue with the things outside of yourself than to actually address the opportunities inside. I know from my work that when people learn to do this, they become lighter, happier and less stressed.
Question: Where are you blaming outside circumstances for your upset rather than looking inside?
“And the wisdom to know the difference”:
Having the wisdom to know the difference is your ticket to peace. If it has to do with another person’s reactions or behavior*, it’s not yours. You may be able to influence, but ultimately you have absolutely no control over what actually happens. Let it go. What about a situation in life or work where you have no authority to change it? Another no; let it go.
So what do you have control over? YOU: Your actions, beliefs, thoughts, reactions, etc. That’s it.
Question: So then next time you feel stress rising, ask yourself: Do I have ANY control over this?
If yes, that’s the ultimate freedom. You have full authority over you; your hands are not tied. You can make any change you wish. Your only impediment is you.
The rest is not yours. Don’t take it on. Let it go.
*This is a little different in a parent non-adult child relationship.