“…grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
In the midst of the hustle and bustle as expected I get a little overwhelmed. Working 19 hours a week, taking 18 credit hours, extracurriculars, and trying to have a life; all of which is not conducive to a stress free lifestyle. If anything it makes life exceedingly more difficult. When feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and just over life I always come back to this quote. “…grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” In those times when life is moving in fifty different directions, I find comfort in reciting this simple line. Of late I have been trying to make some much-needed changes to my life. The first being extinguishing the excessive amount of worries and stress. To help with this I have created a self-check system founded on the principles of this quote. My system includes three easy steps:
Step 1: Acceptance-Learning to accept the things I cannot change.
These past few months I am coming to learn more and more that life is unpredictable and that is okay. Life will never be perfect. Life will never map out according to this superficial, ideal plan I have created. Accepting life as it is, also means accepting myself as I am. Like life I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. Weaknesses are a reality. I can do everything within my power to overcompensate for my weaknesses, but at the end of the day the reality is that I will just be better at some things than others. That is okay. I can always improve, but there is no need to focus solely on my weaknesses. With that comes accepting strengths and acknowledging that my strengths outweigh the weaknesses on any given day. This brings me to step number two.
Step 2: Courage-Focus on changing things I can.
The strengths test told me my top strengths are developer, harmony, input, context, and restorative. At first I was hesitant about the results, until it dawned on me that these are things that distinguish me from everyone else. No one had my exact same set of strengths. Instead of harping on being stuck with no control in the situation, I now realize that I hold more power and strength than I initially thought. I can utilize my strengths to effect change not only with in myself, but on greater scale. The skills I possess can be used to impact and enforce change within my community and beyond. It is simply not enough to possess the skills to effect change, but rather the courage to act. Seize the opportunity so as to be the change I want to see.
Step 3: Wisdom-Decipher when change is possible.
There will be times when I need to accept things are out of my control, and other times when I need to take action. The key to being at peace is to know what to do and when to do it. For some, the answer will come from that intuitive voice within. For others, it will be process of elimination. Whatever the means of assessment, know that the right choice was made in that moment. It takes all three things; acceptance, courage, and wisdom to stand firm in a decision made. When these three steps are internalized then and only then can one truly be at peace.
Myia Rucker is a graduating Psychology major and 1st year WILLer. She is growing in acceptance, courage and wisdom.