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Monday, February 18, 2013

Accepting the Things We Cannot Change and Having the Courage to Change the Things We Can

Most people like to feel that they have control over what happens in their lives and, to a certain extent, we do.  But not always.  And when change comes, it doesn't always come when we expect it or in a way that we would like.  Sometimes, it's in our power to have some control over the change.  Often it's not, and we have no choice but to accept it.

When change is foisted upon us in ways that are unexpected and scary, it helps to remember the Serenity Prayer:

The Serenity Prayer
Accepting What We Cannot Change
Rather than wasting a lot of time and energy railing against things we cannot change, we can accept the change and conserve our energy for the things where we can have an effect.

We might want to change other people, but deep down we know that we only have the power to change ourselves, and that's often hard enough without trying to change others.

Even when we think we know what's best for others and we think we can help put them on the right path, we can't really say what's best for anyone other than ourselves--as hard as this might be to accept.  Even when we know this, we might have to remind ourselves of it again and again.

Having the Courage to Change What We Can
Even when we want to make change, there's usually at least a small part in us that might not want to change.  We might struggle with ambivalence because change often takes us into the "Unknown."  Fear can keep us trapped in situations that we know aren't good for us.  This is one of the reasons why we need courage to make important changes in our lives.

Having the Wisdom to Know the Difference
Wisdom usually comes with experience and making mistakes.  None of us likes making mistakes.  Often, it's only with hindsight that we can see the value of making a mistake.  Sometimes, we have to learn lessons the hard way and, if we're open to it, the lessons bring wisdom.  Knowing the difference between what we can change and what we can't often involves stumbling and falling before wisdom comes.

Remaining Open to Life's Lessons
All we can do is remain open with humility to life's lessons and to the wisdom that comes from these life lessons.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.

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