We truly earn our wisdom through being wholly responsible for our lives; and daring to choose what we come to know in our heart of hearts is right and supports our authentic selves is a sacred act of separating out and choosing with higher clarity and awareness. These choices, in turn, always support the greater good.
Well-known prayers like “Our Father Who Art in Heaven” have been long thought to be energetic transmissions. When AA was founded here in the nineteen twenties, the Serenity Prayer was included as a central part of the program.
It is still said at all recovery meetings as a reflective and centering focus to guide participants to “stay on the path” to true self-healing and growth. Here it is:
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 difference.
Here is My Interpretation for Healing and Transformation
I have this as a handout that I frequently give to clients as a powerful tool to support their vision for wellbeing and recovery. Each line is a powerful directive of higher guidance and support.
I want to guide you through my interpretation:
“God grant me the serenity” . . .consider “God” for self-healing and empowerment purposes as your higher power, or greater actualized self. We can command ourselves simply and specifically; and hypnosis research has said for many decades that we respond powerfully and positively to these self-commands, provided they are what our authentic self believes in.
“Serenity” implies being able at your core to let go, let be, and allow yourself to “settle in” to your inner, inviolate center, place of unconditional acceptance, love and balance. Meditation easily and completely leads us to our center, and true wellbeing.
“To accept the things I cannot change” – the key message here is realizing controlling anything is a delusion, and we can’t change someone else or anything outside of ourselves. I recommend considering this line as a call to a true reality check, as well as understanding acceptance is the last stage of grief (preceded by, in that order, denial, bargaining, anger, and helplessness/hopelessness) – and coming to accept what’s real. When we let go, we activate our inner observer, who can communicate to us honestly who, what, where, when, why and how.
“Courage to change the things I can” – change is an evolutionary choice, and therefore takes work and the wherewithal to “rise above” to a higher place of choice and being, beyond where you’ve been. It requires courage and the willingness to face oneself and one’s circumstances with what I call “ruthless honesty”, and with no scripted, or conditioned, pre-judgment. This is what I see as the key “activator”, or change agent, for real transformation and transcendence. The truth of the matter is we all have courage, and we all are afraid, which I view as the flip side of courage. Courage inspires and grows us, and we feel justifiably proud when we choose and respond courageously. Without question, if we all acted courageously throughout our lives, we would create a profoundly changed and improved world – the “greater good” – for all our benefit.
“And the wisdom to know the difference” – As we mature and grow we develop the ability to discern, which is the focus of this final line of the Serenity Prayer. We truly earn our wisdom through being wholly responsible for our lives; and daring to choose what we come to know in our heart of hearts is right and supports our authentic selves is a sacred act of separating out and choosing with higher clarity and awareness. These choices, in turn, always support the greater good.
Now Consider . . .
What happens inside you when you reflect, perhaps recite these lines? Do you feel a sense of opening, a shift towards a higher state of being? Do you find yourself considering choices that you weren’t even aware of? Are you experiencing deeper, new insights?
This is the magic of this centering prayer. Recovery is about recovering who we truly are, and our authentic power to facilitate our own development as spiritual beings of multidimensional consciousness, part of the All That Is.