This week: SerenityEdited by: ember_rain
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As a preacher's daughter, I was often asked to explain the differences between what I was taught to believe and what a friend believed. In order to do that, I had to understand every faction of Christianity as well as non-Christian religions. It led to a deeper understanding of what we all have in common and what we don't. That helped me to separate out spirituality from religious. Though all religious people are spiritual not all spiritual people are religious. My Spiritual newsletters will deal more with what we have in common(the spiritual) than what we don't (the religious).
As I sit here writing this it is now 11:16 pm WDC time. I have spent today celebrating my husband Clanbear 's 45th birthday. He spent most of the time playing on the Xbox. He is worried. He is trying not to worry, but the worry is part of the human condition that we all use spirituality and religion to deal with or we try to ignore altogether.
He was ignoring it and I was letting him. His birthday shouldn't be etched in worry. It isn't the fact he is now nearly if not middle age. His concerns are like everyone else's, work, money, kids, mortgage... You know the whole birth, death, taxes thing. I can tell him not to worry all I want, but that is what he does. He is a worrier.
I want to say I'm not. I can compartmentalize it well enough that I don't notice it's there, most of the time It doesn't really stress me out until I realize it stressed him out because worry, like a yawn, is contagious. I learned to compartmentalize it as a child. "The church has decided to find a new preacher. We will be moving in the spring. Prepare to start visiting churches as he tries out for new job possibilities." I heard those words at least once every two years and some years more often as I was growing up. They always came from my mother who was the more matter of fact parent.
Daddy was off dealing with his worry, taming it, beating it back, usually with a fishing pole. When he was ready, he would sit down beside me and say the same thing he always said. I heard it so often I started saying it for him. "No matter what, it will be okay. It always is. Everything happens for a reason and turns out the way it does for a reason.
This time we live in is insane for those who worry. We don't know if the news we read is real or fake. We don't know if we will have jobs next week or if they will go to another country, regardless of the country we live in. We don't know if the latest political changes will make things better or worse and though some of us are able to believe it will be better others of us worry about huge setbacks in leaps we made in a forward direction. We worry that the men who now are in charge of the war on terror, drugs, and just about everything else they don't agree with will jump off the deep end and make it worse.
But, that worry is pointless. It is times like this when the serenity prayer becomes something I think is for all of us and not just recovering addicts. It transcends religion. You can replace God with whoever you like. Allah, after all, is just the Arabic word for God. Jehovah Is one of many names God has, If you don't know the others, just ask a Jewish friend who can read Hebrew, and if you're a part of the many pagan religions out there, Hindu, Wicca, whatever...that believes in more than one God you can substitute the name of your God in its place. Because whomever you pray to, it is who you were meant to pray too. If you're atheist, just leave the title off all together.
Grant me the serenity to recognize the things I cannot change,
the strength to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to recognize the difference.
There is a lot that is out of our control and we cannot change. Find peace in the things you can, because the things you can't will take care of themselves. It might not turn out the way you want it to but it will turn out the way it's suppose to. I personally find comfort in that. The unknown is scary and we are hip deep in the middle of it, but it will be okay, we as a species have been here before and survived. We can do it again. It's just a matter of remembering we are made of tougher stuff than we realize.
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