A favorite among
Though this is a prayer not a slogan it is so useful we included it
grant me the serenity
accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
the wisdom to know the difference."
There are two types of problems:
It helps in our recovery to be able
to understand the difference. Rather then fretting about the weather, we
might as well simply accept it. No amount of worrying or thinking about it
will change it. Why waste energy worrying about something we have no power
to control? Once we accept that there are people, places,
and things we can not change we can move on to those areas were our
efforts and energy can improve the situation or fix a problem. This acceptance
offers us a measure of additional serenity.
When we seek the courage to change the
things we can, we are seeking that quality within ourselves and our store
of recovery tools that will enable us to deal with the problems and
realities of life without reliance on drugs or alcohol.
We no longer have to react without thinking to people that
push our buttons or things that once frustrated us. We can ask our Higher
Power for Good Orderly Direction (wisdom).
We can call a recovering friend for feedback. We can count to ten or go
for a walk and wait for our emotions to cool off. We can talk about it in
a meeting or with our sponsor. Today, we can choose to put our dual
recovery first. Today we have choices.
A bit of
The Serenity Prayer came to the attention of an early A.A.
member who spotted a caption in a New York Herald Tribune obituary that
"God grant us the
serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
courage to change the things we can,
and wisdom to know the difference."
He liked it so much, he brought it to Bill W., the co-founder of
Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill and the staff read the prayer and felt that it
particularly suited the needs of AA. Everyone in A.A.'s office was struck
by the power and wisdom contained in the prayer's thoughts. "Never
had we seen so much A.A. in so few words," Bill wrote. Someone
suggested that the prayer be printed on a small, wallet-sized card, to be
included in every piece of outgoing mail. Cards were printed and passed
around. Thus the simple little prayer became an integral part of the AA
Despite years of research by numerous individuals, the
exact origin of the prayer is shrouded in time and mystery. Moreover,
every time a researcher appears to uncover the definitive source, another
one crops up to refute the claim. Reinhold Niebuhr is often credited with
writing the Serenity Prayer. Dr. Niebuhr suggesting that the prayer may have been "spooking around" for centuries. Some have accredited Friedrich Oetinger, an 18th
century theologian. Some believe its roots go back as far as Boethius, a
Roman philosopher, 480-524 A.D. Needles to say it is a timeless bit of
spiritual wisdom filled with practical application for daily living.
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