(God) grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr.
Depending on your beliefs, you may choose to leave out the word God, or replace it with any other word you prefer to use. The first time I read these wise words was a light bulb moment for me, and putting them into practice has enabled me to live life with a sense of inner peace.
There are certain things we cannot change. We can’t change anything that is genuinely outside of our control, we can’t change the past, and we can’t change other people. Mentally and emotionally fighting against ‘what is’ won’t change any of these things, it will just make you feel frustrated, angry and upset. By accepting this fact, you can help yourself let go of those painful feelings and begin to feel a whole lot happier!
Think about some of the things you often find yourself complaining about. The weather? Your partner? Your job? What someone said, or did, last week, last month, last year…? The way someone else chooses to live their life? Ask yourself if you can do anything about it. If you can, do it, if not, it makes sense to accept it, make the most of it, focus on the positives and get on with your life!
Maybe you find yourself going back over the past and how certain things ‘should’ or ‘should not’ have happened, or feel guilty, embarrassed, ashamed, or regretful about what you did or didn’t do. If you can make amends for your own past behaviour, then do so, if it’s about someone else’s behaviour, make the decision that you’re not going to let it affect you any longer. Accept that the past has gone, there’s nothing you can do to change it, so let it go.
We all want to feel happy, and we all have a choice. We can choose to make ourselves feel miserable, or we can choose to set ourselves free, and create inner peace, serenity, and happiness…