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Over the past week or so, one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is to trust those around me.
Like many, I have developed a pattern of taking everything that I deem as essential onto my own shoulders. Whenever tasks absolutely HAVE to be accomplished, I do them myself. Increasingly I have gotten better at working in a team, but because I like to be in charge of my own destiny, the balance of entrusting another person with my own well being is not one that comes naturally to me anymore.
In the past two weeks, control over my destiny has been placed substantially out of my own reach. I don’t have full vision of what I am going through. There is very little that I can do to change things.
The habit of taking full responsibility and full ownership for one’s own future is a very powerful one, but what the Universe is clearly teaching me right now is that there’s a time and a place for it. Rather, you can take responsibility without actually isolating yourself – by reaching out to those you know can help you, and then actually allowing them to do so.

I refer again to 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.

…accept the things I cannot change…
What can’t I change? What has happened is as a direct result of my work as a trade union representative. I could have changed being a union representative, and therefore not been victimised, but I don’t regret that choice. My work with my union has probably been the most rewarding work of my life. So I accept that I made that choice.
Do I, by extension, have to accept that trade union representatives just get victimised? Well, I can’t accept that.
A running theme in my inner struggles seems to be that I have two different understandings of what I can and cannot change. There’s the things I’ve been told I can and cannot change. On the surface, I believe them. However, from inside my core there is a groundswell saying I can change, or help to change, a lot of what I’ve been told I can’t change. Which is probably why I often feel I am running in the face of the Serenity Prayer, setting out to change the things I cannot change.
The truth is deeper – the Serenity Prayer is just one aspect of truth. It’s like most pieces of wisdom in that respect. This doesn’t make them any less wise.

So the thing I can’t change, then, is that going through struggles like this will be an inevitable aspect of continuing to work on changing the things I can change. Maybe that’s where serenity comes in. Knowing that I’m going to have to rely on and trust the people around me, my allies, without whom I couldn’t even begin to attempt to make all the changes I want to see in the world.
What I do know is that if I come out of this with a deeper ability to trust my friends and allies, then this was already a struggle worth experiencing. Maybe that’s what they mean when they say that what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. We have to allow our struggles permission to strengthen us.

Be the coffee beans and change the water…


2 thoughts on “Serenity

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