Holiday Tip #7 – Change what you can, accept what you cannot
The 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
I can list dozens of circumstances within our stepfamily I wish I could change. Instead I strive to accept difficult situations, looking for positive nuggets among the challenges.
I wish I could change that my ex-husband is an alcoholic, resulting in homelessness some years, negligence in his relationship with our girls, and disregard for child support payments. Instead I choose to accept his instability, including lack of financial help, despite escalating expenses with one daughter in college and the other one close behind. I choose to accept that the girls need extra love and guidance from me to sort through their feelings and disappointments.
I wish I could change that my stepchildren lost their mother to cancer five years ago, resulting in painful emotions, particularly during the holiday season. I wish I could rescue them from their loss. Instead I choose to stand beside them on good days and bad, listening to heart-wrenching feelings that children should not have to experience. I choose to allow them the freedom to make good choices and not-so-good choices, praying for healing and maturity through the process.
I wish I could change that our eight-year-old son sees evidence of divorce in his immediate family everyday. I wish I could change the circumstances when he asks why his older brother and sisters have more than one mom or dad. Instead I choose to answer his questions honestly, hoping to give him the tools he needs to engage in healthy relationships as he matures.
We make choices everyday that allow for peace and serenity or anger and anxiety. During this holiday season, I choose to seek serenity as I change what I can and accept what I cannot.