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 pray that we are all familiar with this prayer, commonly known as the Serenity Prayer. It has become foundation of my Spiritual life, mind, body and Spirit. Today, Memorial Day, I have relied on these thoughts to maintain my Spiritual foundation. Over the past 48 hours, I have experienced several emotional moments as the media has publicized reminders of the costs of our freedom as United States citizens. These reminders have carried me through American history starting with the state of our nation prior to any of the explorations of the Europeans. This bit of ‘time travel’ is taken in part with my imagination and with what little I have learned from the knowledge of my Ojibway ancestors, the study of other Native American cultures, and with the history lessons as taught during my childhood.
In my mind, America as I now know it appears to be a product of imposed values rather than shared values. The climate today is one of hostility and divisiveness. Our pace of life often leaves little time for reflection, introspection, and appreciation. So what is a person to do? Here in lies my reliance on the simplicity of the Serenity Prayer: serenity, courage and wisdom. You see, I struggle with acceptance. My way of thinking is very intolerant of those who do not share my points of view. Rather than listen, I wait for the opportunity to impose my thoughts.
Fortunately, the transformative life journey of the 12 Steps of AA and the daily Spiritual practices of Yoga, Ojibway Spirituality and Christianity lead me to one powerful realization: there is one Source of life. My willingness to surrender with serenity, courage and wisdom leads me to some sense of sanity, peace and hope. The issues of our global society are so far beyond me that my only peace is in the knowledge of a life Source far greater than me. So I meditate on the vision of an immense Source, God, Higher Power whose arms are spread around creation as the great wings of an eagle. Within the energy of these wings, we are all directed to one common mission. Peace!
Obviously, we all have decisions to make. So I will strive to do my part to act, learn, and grow. I will leave the cosmic responsibility to the One who put us together. I will continue the journey of serenity, courage and wisdom. I will rely on your willingness to do the same. We will share our journeys and be the hope.