I have a grudging admiration for people who live their life fearlessly. I even appreciate the feel of the word as it rolls off my tongue. As if by virtue of speaking the word ‘fearless’, I can taste the power associated with it. Confidence is an attribute I trip over by accident and generally it involves the needs of others. For example, my children have the power to influence my decision to speak up and often. Whether in a school meeting or out shopping, I will often exude a confidence that is a direct result of my parent identity.
The Serenity Prayer has carried me through the past two years. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Acceptance has been a part of my journey in life. I may not like what life has to offer, but I can roll with the punches. The first three years of parenting offered an incredible opportunity to accept that so much of raising children and building a family is dependent on factors outside of you. Whether it’s surgery, a month-long stay in the NICU, or a diagnosis. Life will bring you what it brings.
The courage to change the things I can. I posted this prayer in several places. On my desk at work, above the dresser by my bed, and as the background on my phone. Let’s just say, I was looking for reminders to pay attention to what I had control over. First, discerning what you have the power to change and second, finding the courage to change it. Here is what I discovered. I was often the ‘thing’ that needed to be changed. Or rather, it was my attitude, my energy, or even my perspective.
My work life is a great example. Over a year ago I needed a job change and with a lot of soul-searching I began to look for something different. Surprisingly, I stayed with my company in a dream role. I have reconnected to my advocacy roots and feel challenged to speak up often and with clarity. I have a sense of purpose and a momentum I haven’t experienced since we decided to build a family a decade ago. What led to this experience, to this change? Well, the constant reminder to change the things I can. With or without fear, courage can exist and bring you places you never imagined for yourself.
Next, find the wisdom to know the difference!