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Some New Lines for the Serenity Prayer

prayerThe serenity prayer is a great way to think about how to approach life from a spiritual perspective. I wrote a while back about serenity as the goal of all spirituality and listed four specific applications of spirituality that help create serenity (see link below). The serenity prayer speaks of the flexibility to address life’s challenges with grace, but it also suggests the so much in life needs to change.

Read the serenity prayer

The Gratitude to Honor What Need Not Change

The one thing that’s missing from this prayer is the serenity that comes from honoring and including what doesn’t need changing at all. It’s like stopping to smell the roses. It’s the colloquial way of showing gratitude rather than taking for granted anything that exist around us. The ability to show gratitude is a measure of spiritual serenity in two ways.

The Awareness to Appreciate the Fitting

When we are grateful, we appreciate what life has to offer that currently provides sustenance, security, happiness and inspiration. We must take time to remember the environment we live in, the people around us and the activities we enjoy for the benefits they bring us. It’s not enough to go through routine. If you can’t truly acknowledge satisfaction in life, then something is messing up your sense of serenity.

The Openness to See new Opportunities

When we are grateful, we are open to (rather than resist) new opportunities that come naturally or from changes others make. Not all change comes from the will to make things different but simply the openness to accept what differences already exist. There’s a lot to experience in the world, and if we are serene, we are open to what is different from what we are used to.

The Updated Serenity Prayer

So here’s the modified serenity prayer for you:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The gratitude to honor the things that need not change
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Read Practicing Serenity (or Why Should I Believe?)

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