Monday, April 16, 2012

Looking For Serenity

When building emotional resilience within yourself, I find it best to start in small ways.  In the beginning, and even now, almost every day, I work on looking at what happens to me and telling myself that I cannot control what happens to me but I can control my response to it.

When you constantly struggle with something, it can be stressful because you keep doing the same action over and over again yet you keep achieving the same end result.  It feels as if you are hitting your head against a brick wall.  I usually end up asking myself  "Why isn't anything changing?   "Why isn't this working?"  I have a talk with myself and really try to see what's going on.  This is not an overnight process; at least it isn't for me.

Whether an event is good or bad, happy or traumatic, I tell myself that there is always an opportunity to step back and teach myself something about problem solving rather than looking at a problem as something that overwhelms me. Problems are not always personal threats or personal attacks. Problems are just part of life.

There are many times that I just never figure out what is going on and I just have to make peace with whatever's going on.  But other times I find when I slowly change my response to a situation -- the way I talk to someone, the tone of voice I use, my body language -- then sometimes; sometimes mind you, not all the time; small changes do come about.

And then there are times when you just have to let something be.  It is what it is.

That's when I am reminded of Reinhold Niebuhr's famous 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.