Wednesday, April 8, 2009


‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change’. What a brilliant little prayer but how difficult to practice.

As hard as it is, I have to accept that I can’t change history. There is nothing I can do about what has already happened, what I have already done. This doesn’t stop me from at times being overwhelmed by regret, as if that would somehow make the past different. It is only a teacher, it’s not who I am.

I also can’t change what has happened to me by others. Holding a grudge, staying angry, or at worst seeking some type of revenge will have no impact on history at all. I carried baggage around about my father for years. In fact in the last couple of years of his life it would take my mum to convince me to go visit him. I allowed the past to inform the present to both our detriment.

It was only about five years after he died that I finally worked out all that crap and now I have only fondness when I think of my dad, and wish he was around to know his grandkids.

Nothing changed in the history between my dad and I. The only thing that did change, was me. This is the harsh conclusion. Not only can I not change the circumstances of the past, I can’t change people. I can only change myself.

I’d rather not do that. I’d rather stay the same, and have those around me adjust. However, I am stuck with being the only one I can work on.

Acceptance isn’t giving up or giving in. I am learning that accepting what I can’t change means to release it. To let go of my own created history, to let go of the hurt that’s been caused by others, to let go of being able to change those around me, and to let go of all that is outside of my control.

Serenity now. Indeed.


  1. This is something that my peers and I are currently learning. We're all having experiences that teach us to recognize that our lives are in God's hands. It gives us greater faith in his goodness and provision. It means that we can be better stewards of his grace towards others. It means that we can love without fear.

    This post is just one more in a series of reminders. There are signs everywhere.

  2. That Francis of Assisi fellow was quite profound. AA really seems to like his stuff too....see Step One