I happened across this variation of the serenity prayer in my notes this morning;
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the ONE I can, and the wisdom to know it’s ME.”
I don’t have an author, sorry, but it reminded me of how moved I was when I first heard it. I am not able to change anything but myself and I get to choose my reactions to the things and people around me.
I used to believe that I could change my husband, my children, and the way that others thought about me. I used to care a lot about what other people thought of me. Will they like or love me? Do they respect me? Am I living up to their expectations? Do they judge me because I am too fat or not smart enough?
As a doctor, I was concerned whether or not patients were really satisfied with their care. I took on the responsibility of whether or not the patient would respond to care and if they were happy. If they didn’t improve or if they stopped care, I felt like a failure. All of this was a lot of burden and responsibility to carry.
You know what else? Carrying all of that burden and expectation caused me to feel lonely and isolated. I felt that if I let my guard down, someone would be disappointed in me. I was afraid to share my feelings or to show my true self.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my patients and I always give the best service I can, however, I had to release the responsibility for their healing. It wore me out taking on the responsibility for their actions.
Health is affected by how we think, how we move and by what we eat. Heaven knows that I have enough challenge making healthy choices for myself, let alone for others. Each individual has to do their own healing. I can provide tools and strategies but each person’s healing comes from within, or as B.J. Palmer, the developer of Chiropractic said, “Healing comes from above, down, inside, out.”
Anyone who’s been married for as long as I have, 38 years, also knows that they cannot change their spouse, let alone their children. Over time, I have released the heavy burdens and expectations I have placed on myself and projected onto others. All I can do is to love the people in my life, accept them for who they are, and appreciate them for the joy that they bring to my life.
This release has made a huge difference. Letting go of expectations and responsibility has allowed me to be more vulnerable and more authentic. This change of attitude has grown my relationships in all areas of my life. My relationships and my friendships exceed any expectations. I am profoundly grateful.
I know now what others think about me is really none of my business. I can’t and won’t take responsibility for how you live. I can recycle, eat real and organic food, speak out against oppression, suppression, and the sick-care industry that is not currently working. I can take action on the issues that are important to me and I can work to improve my actions and my thoughts. I can love you and accept you, and I can love and accept me. If my thoughts and actions inspire a thought in you that changes the way you live your life, fantastic! What really matters is how I feel about myself and how I treat my body and this precious lifetime that I have been given.