Serenity – and the things we cannot change

Those of you reading this in the UK know that we have had more rain this summer than the last 150 years. Or is it since records began? A long time anyway!

Friends have talked of frustration or even anger at the ‘bad’ weather. They haven’t been able to plan outdoor activities and go for walks or cycles without the risk of getting wet. They haven’t seen a lot of sun.

My response to the weather this year has been to be intrigued. It has been very, very wet. And there has been very little sun. And I find myself wondering what next – could there be snow even? Without meaning to, I have adopted a Zen-like acceptance towards British weather this summer. Or, to switch religions, ‘everything works together for good’.

I know that however hard I work, I cannot change the weather. I just need to accept the rain and get on with my life. It’s good for the garden, good for plants, even if it stops me being able to sit outside. This acceptance is an attitude I would like could apply to other areas of my life that I cannot change. Acceptance rather than frustration.

There’s a prayer known as the Serenity Prayer

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 know that there is much that we can change. I am excited about coaching because of its great power to change us and change our lives. We can change ourselves – our attitudes and our behaviour. We can change our careers and our homes. (And, on a bigger scale, I believe we can make a difference politically, to the environment, to global poverty. But this is a subject for another post!)

But there are also things we cannot change. For example, we cannot change others, although we can change our attitudes to them.

What are your frustrations?

Are they things that you can or cannot change?

ACTION CHALLENGE: Create a page on your wordprocessor or notebook and create two headings: ‘things I can change’ and ‘things I cannot change’. List the frustrations in your life at the moment under one of the two headings. I now have two challenges for you:

1 Pick one of the items you can change and ask yourself what you could do this week that would make a difference. And do it!

2 Pick one of the items you cannot change and ask yourself how you could see this as a blessing. What could this situation be teaching you? If it was one corner of a painting, what would the whole painting look like?

If you would like to talk more about things you can and cannot change, drop me a line at rosalyn [at sign] or read more at How can Rosalyn help?

2 thoughts on “Serenity – and the things we cannot change

  1. Grace

    How exciting! This is something I’ve been learning in a big way, trying to replace stress and frustration with faith and serenity. It was kickstarted at a church retreat last week, and I’ve been trying to keep it going with scriptures & prayer. However, since coming back into everyday routines, I’ve not quite managed that on a daily basis, so it’s great to be reminded by your post like this! Gx

  2. Chris

    Rosalyn, thanks for your comments on my Blog and especially for directing me to your Blog on Serenity. Beautiful, just like you!

    xox, Chris


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