Serenity Prayer

“God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And Wisdom to know the difference.” —Reinhold Niebuhr.


My grandmother kept a copy of the Serenity Prayer on her bathroom mirror. Today I honor her by doing the same. I can remember visiting her as a young girl and reading the prayer in her bathroom every morning. What I especially remember is that I thought, “This is the most ridiculous prayer! If there is a problem, I know if I try hard enough, I will be able to solve or fix it!”

Many years later, many trials later, I have learned the hard way the truth of the Serenity Prayer. There are so many things I cannot change. In fact, the only thing I can change is myself and my reactions to other people and situations. I cannot change others. I try to share my firsthand experience with spiritual friends; but so often others like myself need a firsthand rather than a secondhand experience to see this truth.

I wonder if it took my adoring grandmother as long as it did me to discover and learn to live the truth.

I wonder if she had as many setbacks as I so often do—thinking I can change situations and others.