"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." — Siddhārtha Gautama
“God grant us … the Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other…” Reinhold Neirbuhr
The Serenity Prayer has always held a special place in my heart because I was introduced to it when I came to the USA in the early 1980s to attend college. I was a young, adventurous woman eager to explore new places even though it meant leaving friends and family behind in London. My dad was not keen on the idea of my coming here alone because, even though I had a brother in college in New Jersey, I was not going to the same school and I’d be far away. The Serenity Prayer also offers comfort and eleven qualities or keywords that we can live by; reminding us that the creative work we love and do as bloggers extends beyond the words into our every day lives. Does this resonate with You?
God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your Love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.
How did I find the prayer? I joined a prayer group in college, discovered yoga and meditation, and made new friends who were great guides, helping me adjust to the acculturation process. Perhaps it was Thea or another classmate/friend who shared this famous prayer, attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, it doesn’t matter. What I do remember is that for years, I had a laminated copy that I kept on my desk or on my refrigerator door. The prayer has become embedded in my memory bank and I find myself going back to it when the hustle and bustle of life gets incredibly hectic... especially the first line; God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change.
As a blogger and a parent, I find that, for me, the creative process is anchored in prayer and that when I blog about something that resonates with me, it becomes a way to gain clarity about a subject or an issue. When we blog, we open the door to other facets of our lives, explored and unexplored, that feed the creative process. We may choose to limit what we reveal or walk through the door and explore other topics. It is entirely up to us what we choose to do. What matters is that we engage in the process and encourage readers to do same. Is this the same or different for you?
Lately, I find that even in our blogging world, there is so much unspoken, unresolved issues; unintended slights. There is second guessing where it is not needed and assumptions made based on hearsay... There is a great need for tolerance, wisdom and all the other qualities. We need to set aside judgments made without communication. If we don't ask each other questions then we base our answers on assumptions. Hence the value of referencing the serenity prayer... What is missing from our individual/local/national/global communications? I don't know about you, but I blog to learn, to share, to grow, to add my voice to the universe of voices and to leave the petty squabbles of our every day lives at the door of my template and screen. Why do you blog?
I read on Wikipedia that Reinhold Niebuhr wrote the prayer as part of a sermon as early as 1934. There must have been a great need for a spiritual, emotional shift in the congregation as the prayer held many captive then and continues to do so today. There remains a lot of speculation as to when it was actually written and if, in fact, Reinhold wrote it. His daughter, Elisabeth Sifton, believed he wrote it in 1943; his wife claimed it was written in 1941 or 1942.
Did you know this? Others have claimed authorship of the prayer, however, it is attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr. Of note is the fact that the prayer had been disseminated in prayer circles as early as 1934, even though Reinhold said in an interview that he did not publish the Serenity Prayer until 1951. It is possible that others wrote down the prayer at/after the sermon and shared/spread the word. Regardless of the genesis or journey of this special prayer, it remains a favorite of many 12 step programs, prayer groups and individuals who find solace in the words.
It is a beautiful prayer with eleven (11) qualities/keywords (God, Serenity, Courage, Wisdom, Patience, Appreciation, Tolerance, Freedom, Ability, Love and Strength that we can claim and live by. My prayer is that we find the grace in those words and use them to guide as through our daily activities … There is much wisdom in the simplicity of this prayer and it has guided me; I know it will be a blessing to you too. Do you have a prayer that you hold dear? Do Share.
Be of good cheer!
All photos ~ courtesy of My Collection or Google Images
Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©