The Wisdom to Know the Difference

stack_of_rocks_cattle_point_san_juan_island

I’m not a religious person but I do have a prayer I say daily:

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.

I use this one because it’s short and when I make it a daily habit I find I’m a happier person.  Like many people I like to be in control and often lose perspective on what I actually have control over.  I wish I could say it’s just about my kids, family, and friends but at my worst I can take on solving local, national or even the whole world’s problems.

Exactly.

I’m concentrating nowadays on what I talk about with others.  Fortunately it’s easy to find positive, lovely and funny things to talk about.  It becomes more challenging when I try to stop myself from relating a ‘can you believe?!’ statement about someone’s behaviour.  I have to remind myself that just because they do something different to what I would do it doesn’t make it wrong.  The tricky bit is being able to share my concerns without simply being judgmental.

As a guideline I ask myself, ‘Are you sharing this because you want advice about how you can truly help this person or are you looking for approval about what a bad decision it is?’  If I’m asking for advice it should be because I actually can help and have been invited to do so by parties involved.  If not, then I don’t say anything.  Because thinking the thought is bad enough, saying it out loud justifies its validity.

In an effort to push out the judgmental thoughts I find myself looking for simple expressions of happiness.  Drinking coffee with my darling husband on weekend mornings, a long walk with a close friend, sharing a laugh and connection with students.

Accepting that I cannot change other people’s beliefs and subsequent behaviour is enormously frustrating. Changing my own thoughts and behaviour is challenging.  Finding wisdom in understanding the difference is peace.

Wish me luck.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s