Updated: Feb 12
In an episode of THIS IS US, the father figure in distress speaks on the phone to his AA sponsor. The father talks about his rocky day and tough night, and he listens attentively as his sponsor shares his wisdom, strength, and hope with him—one day at a time. The father responds by saying, yes, I will do that as soon as I get off the phone. After saying thank you and I am sorry I called so late, the father hangs up the phone and kneels on the kitchen floor. In the background, you can see the man’s son watching him as he recites out loud the Serenity Prayer.
This scene and this prayer is emotionally powerful. You do not have to be an alcoholic and attend AA to use this wisdom. Many other Anonymous Programs follow this powerful ideology, and anyone with and without addictions can do so too.
The ability to surrender to something other than yourself and genuinely believe that you need to accept the things you cannot change – and do just that – life becomes different. I am not saying your life becomes easy – hell NO. I am saying that your outlook changes. You deeply understand that no matter how complex life circumstances can be, you only need the courage to change the things you can and accept the things you cannot.
It is that simple.
Thank you, Dad, for sharing those repetitive words; I never truly appreciated it until years later because as a kid, it was all mumbo-jumbo.
Now, it is what life is all about—surrender and peace of mind. Once you stop the hamster wheel in your mind from turning and believe that the problem and issue are not always yours to solve – you accept.
You believe a person for who they are. You receive the news. You feel the heartbreak. You trust that you cannot change others. You receive yourself and where you are currently in life. You admit that you are no different than your neighbor. You know that you cannot save someone – they must do that. You are not an enabler. You think and act differently. You live life on life’s terms and not yours.
That does not suggest you sit and wait and do zilch! It means you change the things you can – like yourself and your choices. Let others live their lives, look for the good in situations, and live each day as it comes- one step at a time.
When you know better- you do better. Love yourself, warts and all.