Too short to be upset – you can help yourself!

Life is too short to be terminally upset about things you can’t change.  Reinhold Niebuhr, the author of the commonly known “Serenity Prayer” summarized it with:

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

The average ‘sane’ person reads that and says ‘duh?’… but people like me struggle with that.  You see, we get angry at other people for their actions, we think a lot about what other people think of us.  We worry that this person or that person will be upset.  We try to control situations to make sure our friends, bosses or spouses don’t get upset.  I know I’m not the only one out there that does this.  I’ve been visiting ‘rooms’ all over the country talking about this very thing for over half my life.  The Serenity Prayer is the cornerstone of most 12 step recovery programs.  Today, I feel compelled to share about it as I am not doing well with it… I know the the prayer like the back of my hand.  I say it often.  To myself. Out loud…. I drop an occasional “accept the things you cannot change” to remind myself.  In typing this, I am sharing what I have learned and helping myself.  sometimes, I wish ole Reinhold had said it like this:

God, Grant me the Serenity to
Accept People, Places and Things
The Courage to change MYSELF
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Sure – his has a nicer ring to it.  A kabillion 12 steppers know it by heart, but my version is what Reinhold really was getting at.  I cannot change you. I cannot change a lot of things that make me angry.  I can re-frame them, realize they do not define me, they do not rip me apart (unless I let them).  They are what they are and I will have to deal with them.  Death, taxes, kids with attitudes, traffic, money, lack of money, pain, sickness…. that’s life folks!  It all happens.  At face value it sucks, but why in the world would I chose, today, to be miserable?  God will GRANT ME THE SERENITY…. all I have to do is ask (and stay out of the way…. that’s the hard part!)

Realizing you are powerless over people, places and things is, in my humble opinion, MY key to happiness.  Life is too short to be miserable.  I’m walking through a lot of crap right now but you know what – I’m about to take my big stinky dog for a walk.  She will chase a squirrel, she will poop and I will have to pick it up but her messed up grill will be smiling the whole way!  She loves our walks and so do I.

Today, try not to let other people, places or things bug you!  If you are sad, bugged, upset, worn out, tired… just want to vent feel free to shoot me a message!  I’m great at saying stupid stuff and making you laugh!  You can only change you…. I know you can do it!

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