Letting go. Having “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” in the words of the Serenity Prayer.
We want that serenity; we want to let go. We’re tired of constantly trying to control things that we can’t change. We’re tired of worrying, criticizing and obsessing.
But how can we learn to let go? What are actions that we can take that can help us grow in our ability to accept the things that we can’t change?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the first part of The Serenity Prayer these days. You know, the part that goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”
It often seems like I live my life by another prayer, one that goes something like, “God, please bless my attempts to control the things I cannot change.”
In every relationship there will be conflict. How we deal with the conflict will determine the level of health and intimacy. Taking responsibility for our mistakes and forgiving others is critical. But it is not as easy as it sounds.
When my oldest child was about three years old, I received a valuable parenting tip from a pastor friend. I immediately started applying it to my own parenting, and over the years it has served my husband and I well in raising our four children. I call it my number one Parenting Rule of Thumb. It’s this: Empathize with feelings, while still holding the line.