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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Serenity Prayer Reflection

“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.” --Serenity Prayer

How many times over the past 18 years have I prayed that prayer? I couldn’t begin to guess. The problem is that sometimes it is hard to know which is which. It’s not too hard when looking through the glasses of clarity. Mostly though, praying that prayer is because I’m having trouble differentiating between what can or can’t be changed, and fear. Looking at things through one of the latter three makes it difficult to figure things out.

Learning to accept things I cannot change is at times easy. I cannot change the facts about Hillary. Part of her brain is missing, her retinas have punched out areas, she will never have the ability to walk or talk, and she will always have seizures. Things I cannot change. What I can change (or have control over--depending on how you want to look at it) is what quality of life she will have. She deserves to have as many typical life experiences as possible, just like any other person. I cannot change other people’s reactions to Hillary or my requests on her behalf. I can only change my actions, reactions, and thoughts. There have been times that by changing my actions I have been able to achieve the outcome I was after. Figuring out when to keep chipping away at the walls I encountered and when to go around them is when I need that wisdom. Sometimes just changing the way I think about a problem is the key to finding the way to achieve it. Adapting to what is needed by the people erecting a wall can help me to get them to remove enough of it to get through. The times that I was looking at an obstacle through the lenses of fear, fear of failure, fear of another person’s actions, even fear of success were the times that things were much more difficult. Those were the times that I felt like giving up and saying “it’s impossible”. Reciting the Serenity Prayer is a way for me to refocus my efforts and ultimately identify and work through my fear which allows me to attain my goals for Hillary and give her the quality of life which she deserves as an American citizen and human being.