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by Rev. Jim Webb
One of the most powerful, simple and beautiful prayers is the serenity prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. We achieve the inner peace by practicing serenity.
Acceptance is the Key
Acceptance is not condoning unaffirming, unloving or painful experiences, but it is learning to see these experiences from the highest perspective possible and learning what life lesson these experiences are designed to teach you. You achieve acceptance by going within through meditation, and making yourself available to the calming, healing energy of the universe. You then release your inner upset in a process we call the Emotional Release Process. You apply the calm, loving energy that you access through the prayerful, meditative healing process to the part of you that is upset, hurt, angry, confused or scared. As you release your inner upset, you can begin to see the situation objectively (without the clouded vision of your inner confusion). When you see the situation more objectively, you may accept the lesson that you must learn for your soul’s growth. This acceptance enables you to move through these situations and grow instead of repeating the same difficult patterns throughout your life because you have ignored, denied or avoided the truth that the situation has tried to teach you. You may see a solution that you have missed before, you may begin to see the other person’s perspective, or you may feel that your broken heart is healed and you may feel more loved and loving than you have felt before.
This shift in your feelings and perceptions is what A Course In Miracles calls a Miracle. By applying the loving energy of the universe to a place within your consciousness that was not aware of love, you have healed yourself of a situation that has caused you pain and suffering. This healing began with acceptance of the current situation and the opportunity for healing, growth and a deeper spiritual experience that it presented to you (“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”). You have changed what you could change (“The courage to change the things I can”) because you can always change your inner perspective – even when you cannot control or change others because their behaviors and situations are outside of your control (“The wisdom to know the difference”).
Change What You Can
By practicing serenity through prayerful meditation, you access an inner wisdom that helps you identify and separate that which you CAN change from that which you CANNOT change. You can always change your inner perspective on any situation. You can never change any situation where others have free will to create what THEY need to create for their own growth and healing. You do all that you can do, say all you can say, and take the actions that you must take. You know when to let go because you find that you are taking actions that feel draining instead of empowering. The rest is up to the free will of others whom you cannot control. When you make this distinction and live with this distinction, you are then less likely to have as many emotional upsets, and you find more inner peace. You also spend less time and energy worrying, wondering and waiting for others to change, and you have more time to spend on your own inner process, which expands your capacity to experience joy.
You then realize the difference between praying for serenity and Practicing Serenity is the act of going within to heal and transform your consciousness.
Rev. Jim Webb serves as the Senior Minister of the Takoma Park Chapel. He is the Author of “Pathways to Inner Peace: Lifesaving Processes for Healing Mind, Body and Soul” and “The Keys to Enlightened Living: Channeled Messages from the Masters”. He serves as a coach, intuitive counselor and channel with a nationwide counseling practice.
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