Saturday, August 25, 2012

Accepting The Things I Cannot Change

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.

It was when I first started attending AA with my brother that I heard the "Serenity Prayer". After listening to people talk through their addictions and struggles, we would hold hands with the stranger next to us and say, "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."

Whenever I have recited this prayer, my mind has always,always lingered on "God grant me the courage to change the things I can." For someone who loves constantly pushing myself to heights and horizons I could have never dreamed reaching, this is the part that spoke to my personality.

I never thought about the other half of this prayer. Never. It was not in my vocabulary. It was not in my mind set. I had never had a situation that I could not change for the better. To even give thought to, "Accept the things I cannot change," was something I was incapable of doing. I am D'Arcy. I always have the power to change things I do not want to accept. I have the power to change myself. I have the power to choose my path. I have the power to decide where I live, what I do, who I have relationships with, how I see myself.

If I just cannot accept the fact that Marriage Equality is not granted to everyone right now--then I will not accept it, and I will work to change it. If I cannot accept the fact that women currently earn less then men. I will not accept it and I will work to change it. Everything had a solution, or at least a part that I could play in the solution.

Everything can be changed. At least. I could work to change it. 

Accept it? NEVER.

Until Patience.

Having Patience in my life made me realize that there are a few things I cannot change.

I cannot change who her mother is.
I cannot change what her mother has done to her.
I cannot change the things that she saw when her mother was high.
I cannot change how her mother will raise her.
I cannot change her father or his drug addiction and apathy.
I cannot change how the system works.
I cannot change the decisions her parents made.
I cannot change the harm they caused her.
I cannot change the fact that she does not understand what is going on right now, and that she is scared and fragile and lonely and confused and that she thinks I have abandoned her.
I cannot change her life in the ways I want to change her life.

I cannot accept these things.
And yet I must.

The lesson and the peace lie in the acceptance.

I cannot change this.


Reluctant Nomad said...

For me, there has been nothing that is AT THE SAME TIME more crazy-making and more peace-bringing than the realization that I have no control. Raising my oldest son has been, um, challenging (really. . . there are no words that describe the experience but challenging inadequately sums it up).

I can't control him. I can't change him. I can't make excuses for him. I can't protect him. I send him into the world with a little love (and a lot of frustration)and a hope that, as with all things that are not meant for this world, he rises above it all. Even and especially himself. Thanks for the reminder that control is an illusion anyway. I would write more, but he's yelling in the room next door and I feel the need to save his younger brother from the fury.

My heart is with you. I'm sure lonely doesn't begin to describe how you're feeling. much love from not-too-far away.

Heather Perera said...

Beautiful D'Arcy. Wish I had the words, but my words stall. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing.

D'Arcy said...

Thank you sweet ladies. I feel your love.

Kina Wicks Photography said...

I'm crying... It's sad a little girl that needs so much love has so early learned the unfairness of life. It's sad a beautiful person that wants to take care of her can't right now. These things will perplex me till I reach the other side I think.

Newt said...

Ouch ouch. There are no words for this sad sad and unfair situation.

meili said...

My dear D'Arcy, as you know we have a lot in common, in that I am raising my niece. And it turns out we have more in common than i thought. about three months after she came to live with me her dad took her back. and for three months without her I felt empty because she had become the center of my universe. my heart broke for her and how he would raise her and how much she had already been through. It was the hardest thing to accept that I could not control the situation and to forgive him and myself for "abandoning" her. and I prayed more in my life for things to work out. I have to accept that God is in control and that he knows what is best for her and I learned to have faith in that. needless to say everything did work out for the best as she has returned to me. you are in my prayers. You are such a good person to be there for her in the way that you can. Love ya!