The Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

If you are part of a 12-step program, like Alcoholics Anonymous, you are familiar with the Serenity Prayer. This prayer is an integral piece of many of their meetings. I belong to an Al-anon group which is for loved ones of people with addiction issues, and we say this prayer at many of our meetings.

This year after my husband passed away and I retired from my full-time job, I have had time to reflect on my life. I am learning to look at everything that happens as a lesson for me. The following story about my son, Alex, who is a 30-year-old man with Down syndrome, has been an opportunity for me to live the Serenity Prayer.

The fear was setting in again over me. Alex was complaining about foot and knee pain and refusing to get out of bed. This has happened to Alex twice a year for the past three years. It starts with pain in his foot, moving into his knee, then spreading to his other foot and knee. This causes him to refuse to get out of bed for any reason. In the past it has lasted anywhere from three weeks to two months. Today is day fourteen. As you can imagine, it is challenging to deal with. This time I decided to reflect on what it was teaching me. I saw how it was giving me the opportunity to practice the Serenity Prayer.

Accept the things I cannot change. His knees and feet hurt, and he is not walking. In this moment I must accept that. I do know it will change in the perfect time, for now, not walking is what is true. I can accept his situation with serenity, at least most of the time! There are times, like yesterday, when I just felt overwhelmed, that taking care of him constantly was more than I could handle. I allowed that to be how I felt in the moment. Then I went to sleep. After a good night’s rest, I was able to look at the situation with fresh eyes, eyes that could find serenity.

The courage to change the things I can. The most important thing I can change is my reaction and attitude toward Alex not walking. When I woke up today, my attitude had shifted, and I no longer felt overwhelmed. I was able to remain calm and patient, even as I was cleaning up poop. Another thing I can change is to be prepared for the inevitable fact that things are going to get messy. I have a pad that Alex sits on, gloves, plastic bags, wipes and a bucket of warm, soapy water and a washcloth that can be thrown away if needed. The preparation I can control, and being ready helps me to keep a positive attitude and focus on loving Alex through it all.

When I look for what I am learning through this situation, I am reminded that every time Alex stops walking it shows me how much I take his mobility for granted. When he starts walking again, he is so proud of himself, and I am proud of him too. We are both so joyful and grateful that he can get around again.

Through the challenge, fear and worry that comes from Alex not moving, not getting out of bed, I remember what a great time it is to surrender to the Divine, which allows me to be present in the moment. I really didn’t know what that meant to surrender to God or to the Divine. My intention was to truly understand this statement. It is amazing how when there is something I have the desire to learn, information will come to me that gives me the answer. A couple of days ago, I listened to a YouTube video of Bashar being channeled through Darryl Anka talking about what it means to surrender. I know I might have lost some of you when I said the word ‘channeled.’ I encourage you to open your heart and feel if this description makes as much sense to you as it did to me. Before I explain Bashar’s version of surrender, I want to share a concept from the book Destiny of Souls, New Case Studies of Life Between Lives, by Michael Newton, PhD., who was also the author of Journey of Souls. In this book he shares what he has learned from people who are under hypnosis. When he began using hypnosis many years ago, he did not accept past lives as being true. The experiences his clients shared led him to believe otherwise. One of the discoveries he made is that when our soul comes to earth in physical form, a part of the soul remains in the spiritual realm.

Now back to what Bashar said about surrender. He said that when we surrender, we are giving up control of our lives to the aspect of ourselves, that piece of our soul, that continues to reside in the spiritual realm. The part of ourselves that knows us from the depths of our being, knows what is in our highest good and can guide us in the best, easiest way to get where we say we want to go. I have begun setting the intention of surrendering to the Divine part of my soul, following where my intuition and gut guide me. I quiet my mind, listen, and follow the guidance. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like guidance at all, I just am open to where I am led and follow with an open heart. It has only been four days since I began setting the intention of surrendering to the Divine part of me. I have felt more at peace, even yesterday when I felt overwhelmed, I was more able to really look at why I felt that way and adjust my attitude. This morning when I woke up, Alex was excited about moving more. I can’t say for sure it was because I had surrendered, I can say that I felt more serenity and hope today. Also some amazing opportunities have come my way today that I hadn’t expected.

I encourage you to explore the idea of surrendering to the Divine part of your soul that resides in the spiritual realm. How does it feel? Does it make sense to you? Could this be the part of us that is able to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference?

I am grateful for the challenges Alex has given me which have been the map I needed to lead me to the answers that truly deepen the serenity in my life.

Sending love and blessings! Lynda Drake

Share This