Things I can control
My spiritual life
My investment into my relationships
My self care
Things I cannot control
Literally Everything Else.
I buck hard against this Universal Truth, but that’s the thing about Universal Truths – they do not break.
This is a season (May, 2019, Raising Small Children, My 30’s, Little League, Entrepreneurship, The Last Day Of School Before Summer, etc.) that is forcing me to take exactly one blessed day at a blessed time. My brain cannot handle any more than that.
I like to plan and know what to expect, but so much of what’s happening in our little family’s life is beyond our control. It’s unsettling in many ways. Yet in other aspects, it’s a true relief.
One day at a time
The concept of “one day at a time” is held closely in the recovery world. It’s the practice of being responsible for what you can, releasing the rest, and finding joy/contentment/peace one day at a time.
If this practice is healthy and helpful for people in recovery, and those who love them most, surely it’s good for all the rest of us too.
Living one day at a time means I am accountable only for where I am and what I am doing (giving to myself and the world and other people) in this present moment.
It’s as simple as remembering – and whispering to yourself as often as you need to – the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
Schedules will get overwhelming.
People will disappoint you.
You will drop the ball on something important.
Life will throw you a curve ball you never saw coming.
So what can I count on?
I know that no matter what, the constants I can count on are:
- My spiritual life (even when I wanted God to leave, He never did),
- My commitment to my own mental/emotional/physical wellness, and
- I have also learned, through fire and actual hell on earth, that there are people I can actually count on. They are human, and they will undoubtedly disappoint me from time to time, just as I will disappoint them. But it is a gift to know who you can truly trust when the chips are down. My husband, our parents, our siblings, and a few inner circle friends are my anchors. All this hype about “finding your tribe?” This is all the tribe I need.
Who are those people in your life? Those people that sing your song back to you when you’ve forgotten how it goes. Do you have them?
Who are you that person for?
When you lose control
When life swirls all crazy and you can’t see the next step, stop grasping for control. (It’s always just beyond our reach anyway.)
Instead, go back to what you can count on.
Did you know there is a “rest of” the Serenity Prayer?
After “wisdom to know the difference,” it continues:
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
One. Moment. At. A. Time.
Lean into your faith. Invest in your health. Grab hold of your people. It’s what you can count on.
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The Way of Serenity (Finding Happiness in The Serenity Prayer) by Father Jonathan Morris