As much as we’d all love to take control of everything in our lives, we soon learn that many things are simply out of our realm of control. When I decided to build an online health and fitness business, I had so many pulls on my time that I had to modify and bring back a tool I used in my early adult years to cope with my way of being. The major committments that currently pull on my time and energy include:
1. My new business – I am learning a new way of thinking, and using technology to get it going.
2. My family – I occasionally help my college student with homework and rides to school.
3. My church committements – I lead worship every Sunday.
4. My daily exercise classes – I teach 10 classes per week online.
At times I feel scattered and flustered with my life and not making progress. It seems like I am not making progress in any area and dont have a lot of peace and serenity in my life. Over the years through trial and error, I have slowly learned to let go of control and allow serenity to follow.
Life’s Responsibilities Take Over
Juggling all of these compartments in my life was quite a struggle in my younger years, when I tried to have complete control over them all. I began to become a bit frantic to try to control everything and stress and my health began to come into the forefront of my life. I wanted to be the perfect parent, employee, wife, friend and any other title I could wear. This burden I put on myself was a too much to handle and I knew I had to make changes and think differently.
Can you relate? I finally decided to begin to release a few of these stressful responsibilities and bring back a prayer I had learned years before, “The Serenity Prayer”. This prayer literally changed my life. As a child growing up, I did not have a lot of control of where I went to school or lived so when I grew up, I figured I could have control over every aspect of my life. Well that was not the case, when I started managing other humans either in my family or on the teams I was in charge of. So the Serenity Prayer helped me realize that I didn’t have to be in total control of the situation or person and that I could release and enjoy the serenity that follows from that release.
American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971 wrote The Serenity Prayer. It is
commonly quoted as:
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.
The prayer has appeared in many versions. Reinhold Niebuhr’s versions of the prayer were always
printed as a single prose sentence; printings that set out the prayer as three lines of verse modify the
author’s original version. The most well-known form is a late version, as it includes a reference to grace
not found before 1951:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Although, prayers generally are associated with a typical religion, you do not have to be a person of faith, or even a religious person in order to appreciate the wisdom in these words. There is great power in surrendering to the world in its current state and knowing that you have a choice in what you decide to take on and exert control over each day. Being able to let go of control brings that sense of calm that we are all longing for.
Action Steps: How do you think about control? What in your life are you able to have full or partial
control right now? How do you accept the things with which you have little or no control? What can
you do right now to become more at peace with this issue of control?
About the Author
I am Kathy Denise Hicks, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Personal Trainer, and Author. I have spent a decade learning about the body, how it moves and how to teach others to heal their joints and muscles. Being out of pain and losing a few pounds is what many are looking for and I would love to connect with you to help you achieve your fitness and health goals. Correcting muscular imbalances can really help you feel better, look younger and be happier. If you are looking to get moving and feel younger with more energy, I have a program that can help. My 14 Day Workout Trial, will give you an idea of the classes I offer. Come and give it a try. Your next best move may be a click away.