Serenity or Anxiety – How to make the Choice clear?

Serenity or Anxiety


Our state of mind is a choice.  The way we go about our day and the unconscious assumptions under which we operate seem to steer our outlook quite strongly.

Many of us are familiar with the Serenity Prayer, originally authored by the American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, that was later popularized by the twelve-step community.  It has been a core component of the many programs and has aided thousands, if not millions of people recover from addiction.

The version that I am most familiar with is:

Serenity Prayer

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.

I do believe that we can achieve a serene life if we follow the guidance and wisdom captured in his piece.

In reality though, we tend to live a lot more in anxiety in our busy and complex world.  After studying and reflecting the Serenity Prayer carefully, I realized what might be the culprit causing our anxiety laden reality. In my usual attempt to simplify complex topics and make them sticky, so that people can more easily remember and recall them when the opportunity arises, I created this piece to suggest what we may be abiding to that results in our anxiety.

Anxiety Prayer

God, grant me the Courage to change the things I cannot control,

The Serenity to ignore the things I can control,

And the Energy and Resources to be successful.

While I did write this in jest, I do believe it captures a lot of our day-to-day actions.  If we adopt the Anxiety Prayer to develop our habits and our behavior, why should we be surprised with the amount of anxiety that we generate in our life?  This approach is a recipe to guarantee anxiety.

Once we become aware of the narrative that we follow, especially under stress, we can make the wise choice.  It is always available to us.

Love to hear your comments…

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