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.
It was written and published by Reinhold Niebuhr in 1951, although he had used it much earlier in a sermon in 1943. The Serenity prayer is a wonderful prayer and there is much wisdom to be had from it.
It means that whatever is happening in the individual’s life they can rely on an inner sense of calm. Many would say that this way of being is the goal of recovery. It may even have been the search for such inner peace that drove the individual into addiction in the first place – they find what they are looking for in sobriety. If something needs to change, it needs to change in me, while if something about you seems to be my problem, then what I really need to do is realize that you are who you are right now and accept that truth. It’s funny how it works out. When I don’t waste my energy trying to change you, I seem to have a lot more energy left over to change myself and when I work on changing myself, I seem to have a lot less problems with you. It promotes acceptance of the things in life that you want to be able to change but there is no way to. You cannot change the past or anyone but yourself. Not being able to change things is a stressor itself.