Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Finding Your Peace

     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.

     Most of us know by heart this part of the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, or, at least, we are familiar with it.  But did you know there is more to the prayer?  The rest goes like this...

                                 Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time;
                                 accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
                                  trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will;
                                 that I may be reasonably happy in this life
                                 and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
                                                                                                                         Amen


     One of the perks of aging for me has been finally reaching a point in my life where I can actually accept the things I cannot change, live one day at a time, enjoy one moment at a time and find peace through the hardships.  That hasn't always been the case for me.

     I have spent most of my adult life dealing with some type of chronic pain.  When you have to deal with health problems starting at an early age it is easy to become bitter or resentful; envious of those who can do whatever they want.  Others may have dealt with hardships differently, but for me, my journey has taken me through several stages of acceptance, or, should I say, non-acceptance.

      Stage 1 was shock.  But I'm too young!; how can this be?; I don't believe this!

     Stage 2 was denial.  Maybe if I ignore this long enough it will go away.  I'll show you I can still work all day, go to the grocery, cook supper and clean the kitchen before I go to bed. 

     Then when my body and my stamina wouldn't let me do all that I hit Stage 3 - anger!  Along with the anger came self-pity.  Why me?   My life is ruined!  Not another surgery!  When will it end!

     Once I finally worked through the anger along came Stage 4 - embarrassment.   I knew I had 3 different doctors that had told me I couldn't work a full time job anymore, but I didn't look sick.  What would people think?   Would they understand?  

     Stage 5 is what I call my "Academy Award winning" stage, or, the OK....but stage.  This is when I finally began to accept my circumstances and my limitations, but, I didn't want everyone feeling sorry for me.  This was where the acting came in.  When you live with pain for so many years you develop a pretty high threshold for pain, making it easier to hide it from others.    Problem is, you get so good at hiding it that you begin to believe it yourself and tend to overdo in order to keep up with the charade.  Bad idea.  I really pay for my mistake afterward.

     Finally, through the grace of God, I managed to reach the final Stage 6 - acceptance.  At this point, I have finally found peace in accepting and dealing realistically with my life as it is.  No longer making excuses, just knowing who I am, my strengths, my weaknesses and my limitations.  Once I was able to come to terms with that, I was able to move forward as a happy, productive person.    No matter what hand we are dealt in life we all have areas where we can shine and feel useful.   I am so blessed and have learned to be thankful for what I can do rather than regret what I can't.  I have found my peace.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Written for this week's GBE2 prompt - peace.

    




















 
    













29 comments:

  1. Wow, this is really nice! I especially appreciate that you shared the whole prayer. I was unaware of the full prayer.

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    1. Thank you Rick. I really appreciate your comments.

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  2. This may be my favorite post to date through Kat eyes! I also love that entire prayer and have spent many years trying to live it as thoroughly as I believe it. One day, one moment at a time.

    I love your strength and I love your faith. Your ability to function and still understand your limitations is remarkable. No pity for you these days. Just joy and gratitude for what you can and will do each day.

    Excellent piece of writing for Peace and for hope. ♥

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    1. Thank you Jo. Like you,I believe in those words and try to live them. And as for my stages of dealing with my pain, I think those steps apply in many situations. I think anyone who deals with adversity or hardships on a chronic basis has to work through these stages to reach a place of peace. I'm glad you liked it. That means a lot.

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  3. It's a hard road to find acceptance, but once you do peace feels so good. I live peacefully... I, too, have learned to accept things as they are.... And that everything will be just fine. Nice write, Kat.

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    1. Thank you Daphne. As I just told Jo, I think anyone who deals with hardship has to work their way through stages before they find their peace in dealing. You have done that very well.

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  4. I've found that people who overcome adveristy with grace and humor are the first to reach out to others. You lead with your heart Kat. <3

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    1. Thank you Kelly. I always feel that if my situation can help someone else get through theirs then I am doing what I am suppose to do. Your kind words always make me smile. Thank you.

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  5. I didn't know there was more to that prayer. I love the part "accepting hardships as the pathway to peace", that's quite profound.
    And, I think you got it so right when you said, 'with the grace of God'. He really does make it all worth it.

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    1. The first part of the prayer has been used so much but the second part usually gets left off. That's a shame because it is so meaningful. Yes, if not for the grace of God I wouldn't be able to handle much of anything. Thanks Jewels.

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  6. Very nicely done! I appreciate acceptance without victimization. Very nicely done.

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  7. I love this prayer but didn't realize there was more to it. My mother embroidered it onto a wall hanging that I have in my house. I look at it each and every day and try to live by its words of wisdom. Lovely blog, filled with many of the reasons I have come to love who you are!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much Kathy. That is nice thing to have from your mother. Thanks, I love you too.

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  8. Good read. Very nicely written.

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  9. OH MY GOSH.......THIS IS MY MOST FAVORITE POST EVER!!!!!! 1. didn't know the rest of that prayer..2. had NO idea you carried such pain with you...i would never have known from your drawings!! (yes i miss not having that phone that let me "play" with you and jo)

    I am no expert...but i think trauma i stored as memory in our nerve system and our body reacts to it. Working with trauma victims..and being in the medical field..knowing my best friends who live with pain; Fibromyalgia..every single one of them had psychological and physical trauma in their life. They were all "go getters" had balls of a tiger..entrepreneur personalities...and so haven't researched this but know the answer will come..like the end of that prayer.."this too shall EVENTUALLY pass"..and all i know i am so thankful God let you touch my life

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    1. Thank you so much Brenda. You are so sweet and such a blessing in my life. Your beautiful words and your amazing photos always make me smile and bring a certain peace to me. I too, am so thankful that God brought us together through this wonderful world of blogging.

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  10. I have lived with trauma all my life and too went through the same stages. Existing for 53 years. I am now 56 and Life is Good! Amen sister.

    I'm not anonymous... just don't know how this thing works :) debi mason

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Debi. It's always nice to meet someone who understands what you've been through. I'm glad things are better for you.

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  11. I am bookmarking this. Will read this again and again. It is truly inspiring.

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    1. I am so glad I that you think so. Thank you so much! That means a lot to me to think someone would actually want to re-read something I wrote. Thank you.

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  12. I love the serenity prayer. took me a long time to practice it though. thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, I think that is one of those things it takes a lot of us time to put into practice. The main thing is that we keep trying.

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  13. Kat, I honestly didn't know the rest of the serenity prayer until now. Thanks for sharing. I have only recently been educated on Fibro and its devastating effects on daily life. I'm not sure what your condition is, but chronic pain of any sort can be debilitating. I admire people like you who soldier on and inspire us despite what you go through. ♥

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  14. Hi Corinne. I am glad I was able to share the rest of the prayer with you. It is very beautiful. Yes, chronic pain is not an easy thing to deal with. I have several forms of arthritis which have resulted in 5 back surgeries. I deal with a lot of nerve damage and neuropathy. And, I too have Fibro, even though I tend to not talk about it as much because of all the arthritis pain I have. Thank you for stopping by. I always hope I can be an encouragement to others.

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  15. On that last reply...my darling friend, you are more than an encouragement to others,you are true inspiration. Just had to add that. Oh, and I came back to re-read, too. I really LOVE this one. ♥

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  16. Aaawwww, thanks Jo. I truly believe that if I can encourage others then my journey at least has meaning. You are a wonderful friend. Thank you.

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  17. Thanks for sharing the whole Serenity Prayer. I have it as a poster and many people find a lot of insight in reading it. The path to acceptance is not easy, nor is it linear, it sometimes twists and turns, but once you have gotten there remember how you did it so that you can get there again, or give others direction. Thanks for sharing.

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