Nov 5, 2009

"God give us grace, to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other."--Reinhold Niebuhr "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can change, And wisdom to know the difference.--Reinhold Niebuhr more common version Merle Wayne Sneed doesn't subscribe to the idea of a personal God. But you already now that. So, you might ask, what is up with the quote? God or not, there is a lot of wisdom in those words. More than one Sneed has used those thoughts to help him break the grip of addiction. Those simple words have amazing transformative powers. But this isn't about addiction. It is about accepting the things I cannot change. I have the courage to change the things I can in life, that is not my problem. It is dealing with the things I cannot change and moving beyond my disappointment, that cause me problems. As a boy growing up in a terribly dysfunctional home, I coped with my daily disappointments by telling myself that it just didn't matter or that I didn't want "that" anyway. You can't hurt me, if I don't care and if I tell myself enough times that I don't care, maybe I won't. Acceptance can be a bitter pill. I cannot get into the specifics, but Mrs. Sneed and I are facing a huge disappointment in our lives and we are struggling, each in our own way, with how we will deal with it. How does one find the serenity to accept the things he cannot change, when that change breaks his heart? I wish I knew that. People do what they do for their own reasons, sometimes without regard for the collateral damage their decisions cause. Other times people do what they do for perfectly good reasons and hurt is just an unfortunate byproduct. In the end, I have a right to my anger, my disappointment, my hurt, my point of view. I have a right to express my concerns, my reservations, to list the reasons that something is not a good idea. But, I'm only entitled to live my life, not yours. And that's the rub. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

9 comments:

Barbara said...

I can feel the pain in this post without knowing the specifics. I hope this situation turns out without damaging too many hearts.

Kurt said...

I haven't understood people for quite some time now. Disappointment is all I have.

The Bug said...

I'm sorry you're going through this right now.

Reya Mellicker said...

Merle I'm sorry to hear this sad news. Yes you are entitled to every one of your emotions, indeed.

Right after my husband and I split up, my daily practice included me standing in front of the mirror every morning and asking myself out loud, "Are you willing to be in a state of acceptance today?"

Some days I could honestly say yes. Those were peaceful days. Other days I just couldn't. On those days I inevitably would bang my head against the wall again and again. Sometimes mid day I would ask myself again, "NOW are you willing?"

Even brief moments of acceptance help the nervous system adjust to a new reality.

Much love to you and Mrs. Sneed.

Megan said...

That is, indeed, the rub.

Sorry to hear about your trouble. But if I know anything at all, I know that you and the missus will be able to deal with it.

Steve said...

Like everyone else, Merle, I'm sorry to hear you're facing this situation, whatever it is. You're a strong guy with a practical, healthy approach to life, and I have no doubt you'll handle things well.

Mommy, I'm Home said...

Sorry you're going through a tough time, Merle. Hope it works out OK. (BTW, this is Karen in Colorado. Now posting as Mommy, I'm Home at Mommyimhome.com)

Pauline said...

I've only just started reading here but am sorry that you face something so painful. What else can we do but struggle through? The only blessing in any trouble is to know this too will pass.

Bella Rum said...

I'm sorry to hear this, Merle. Your words are filled with wisdom, but I know very well that wisdom does not make it easier. Accepting and coping with disappointment is something I have great difficulty with too. Some people move through it more easily, but some of us flounder our way through. I'm thinking of you and yours and wishing you well.