Monthly Archives: September 2011

Serenity Prayer Exercise

The following examples are intended to help you in using the Serenity Prayer as part of your ongoing recovery process. It is a tool that can be used daily when seeking the help of your Higher power. The exercise gives you opportunity to take a situation through the Serenity Prayer.

1) Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change . . . like the way __________________ ignores me when I want to talk.

The courage to change the things I can . . . especially my own attitude about him/her.

And the wisdom to know the difference . . . between the lasting satisfaction of being completely honest with myself and the temporary satisfaction of depending on _______________ for my happiness.

2) Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. . . like the way my childhood was.

The courage to change the things I can . . . especially my own feelings of victimization about my childhood and other relationships.

And the wisdom to know the difference . . . between staying in a victim role and continually turning those years over to my Higher Power.
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Hopefully you get the idea. You can select a specific situation or condition in your life that is currently a source of resentment, fear, sadness or anger. It may involve relationships (family, work or friends), work environment, health or self-esteem.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. . .
-State a condition or experience you are aware of that you cannot change (ie, childhood, partner’s behavior, employment conditions, parents’ behavior)

The courage to change the things I can . . .
-What specifically CAN be changed about the above condition or experience?

And the wisdom to know the difference. . .
-Identify your understanding and acceptance of what you can and cannot change (ie, his/her behavior vs my reaction).

I would love to hear if this is helpful for you.

Acting As If

There will be times when I do not feel up to things, when there seems to be too big a gap between who I think I am and who I want to be. I believe in being true to myself, in being basically honest. When I first try something new, it may feel as if I am trying on an article of clothing that doesn’t quite suit me. But there is nothing wrong with acting “as if.” I may need to practice new behaviors in order to become comfortable with them. Sometimes, when I allow myself to act “as if,” the old me sort of falls away and makes room for something new. Children do this all the time, trying on different roles and playing with them. There is no reason to commit myself to a limited view of who I am.

I can be who I want to be.
– Tian Dayton, PhD

You Are

The things you do are important to you. Yet they are not who you are.

The words you speak serve to express you. Even so, they are not who you are.

The circumstances of your life give you a context in which to operate. However, those circumstances do not define you.

The problems you have, the possibilities that are open to you, the challenges you face, the value you’ve created are all connected to you. Yet they are not who you are.

Your past tells the story of what you’ve been through, and your future gives you space in which to grow. Your past and the future are not you, though.

You are beyond your words, your actions, your circumstances, your challenges, your accomplishments, your past history and your future opportunities. So who exactly are you?

You are the person who can give it all meaning, and beauty, and love.

-Ralph Marston

On Acceptance and Gratitude

In a state of acceptance we are able to respond responsibly to our environment. In this state we receive the power to change the things we can. We cannot change until we accept our powerlessness over the people and circumstances we have so desperately tried to control. Acceptance is the ultimate paradox: We cannot change who we are until we accept ourselves the way we are. When we surrender, when we’re in a state of acceptance, we relinquish the need to resist ourselves and our environment. That’s when we’re free to cultivate contentment and gratitude.

It has also been my experience that my Higher Power seems reluctant to intervene in my circumstances until I accept what God has already given me. Acceptance is not forever. It is for the present moment. But to move beyond this moment, it must be sincere and at gut level.

Intimate Relationships

Today, I understand that life is relationship, and relationship is nature’s stimulus for growth. I am operating differently today. My intimate relationships call me to stretch and grow where it hurts the most. The people with whom I choose to be intimate are selected by me through a complicated unconscious process that lifts them out of hundreds of possibilities. At some deep level, I look for a person who can, by being a sort of mirror, help me see myself or resolve my deepest childhood wounds, and share my childhood joys and dreams. I choose that person not only to be close to, but also to be my teacher, and that person does the same with me. It is the bond between us and the unconscious knowledge that I am meant to learn from this person that help me through this very painful process of personal growth.

I grow in my intimate relationships.

Author Unknown