We Can’t Really Change People, But We Can Learn To Accept Them
An encore podcast episode
Jean Edelman: This week, a prayer keeps coming to mind. It’s called the Serenity Prayer. It goes like this:
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 think we all pray and our prayers can be simple. As simple as thank you for that parking spot or thanks for all the green lights. Prayers are a moment of gratitude in our daily life, and it doesn’t matter how big or small. This prayer especially gives us perspective because we do need the wisdom when we are having some difficult times and we do need the wisdom to know when do we engage and when do we remove ourselves from the situation.
And so our action item for this week is thinking about is there a person or a situation that we’re trying to change? Let’s write down the issue and then let’s tear up the paper because we need to think about letting it go and we need to decide are we going to accept it or are we going to continue fighting? But it’s easier and less energy and less emotional stress if we just accept it. We can have realistic expectations or we could have no expectations at all. And we need to remember that the only amount of life that we can predict change and affect is about three feet around us, our own little bubble, because we need to change us. We need to change how we are acting, reacting and interacting with others. And so I think a big piece of this prayer is practicing acceptance.
And so simply my word this week is ACCEPT.
The A is for Allow. People are people. We really can’t change them. We can only change how we react to them.
And the C is for Care. We need to care about ourselves. We need to make sure that we are not extending time and energy. It’s easier to walk away even if we’re walking away frustrated because then we are preserving ourselves and caring for ourselves.
The other C is for Calm, peaceful. This is what we need around us.
The E is to Enjoy. We can enjoy life better when we are in the flow with it and when we are trying to be the rock in the stream that’s holding the water back because we don’t want that, well, after a while we’ll only get worn down. And so we need to stop being that rock and be the river or the stream and go with the flow.
The P is for Patience. This takes a lot of patience. We need to have patience with ourselves and patience with others. We really haven’t walked in someone else’s shoes and we really don’t know what they’re going through. So it takes patience and kindness. And teach.
The T is for Teach. There are so many teaching moments in our life. There’s opportunities to share and talk. And when we share and talk, our gifts of wisdom can be given to others.
Accept. It’s a beautiful prayer – the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. Remember, if we’re not caring for ourselves, we can’t care for others. Have a beautiful week, everyone.