“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.” This is such a simple prayer, yet a difficult one to follow. So many times I forget I cannot change others. I can only change myself and that is work in itself. Yet, so many times I struggle with things I have no control over, like the outcome of a friend’s sobriety.
In the past, when I have been disappointed because someone did not fulfill a commitment, I would use reverse psychology and harm myself. In other words, someone would hurt me, then I would turn around and hurt myself. Duh! As I have come to realize, that was not a wise decision.
Today, I have the tools to overcome this repeated unhealthy pattern. Through prayer, discernment, and a consistent desire to change, I have learned that awareness is huge. Sure I make mistakes because I am human. But, if I do not pick up that first drink or drug, just for today, then I have a chance to change old behaviors. “You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NRSV).
In fact, change is inevitable. Growth is intentional. Therefore, my duty is to mind my own business, avoid the trap of other people’s business, realize that their business is none of my business, and who asked me in the first place about their business, then I am more likely to accept what is. Now that is wisdom.
I would love to hear your wisdom.