The Gifts of recovery: Courage

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Before we can do, first we must be. Courage will not appear until serenity shows up. But there is something else that initiates courage: Love. I’m talking about the desire to make the necessary changes, changes that only we can make.

It’s like the joke: How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one – but only if the light bulb wants to change.

“The courage to change the things I can” is possible if there is love – the desire to change.

I always enjoyed watching the movie, The Wizard of Oz. As you may recall the foursome – Dorothy, the scarecrow, tinman and the lion – were off to see the wizard, hoping to get what each of them desired. Dorothy wanted to get home; the scarecrow wanted brains; the tinman wanted a heart; and the lion wanted some courage.

In the end, it was their love for each other that got them what they desired. And it was the lion who showed his courage by rescuing his comrades from danger. When you love someone enough, and want something bad enough, you do what it takes to reach your goals.

Before you can do, you must be. In order to change, you must have serenity. Serenity is not some mellow state of being that looks like lethargy and feels something like “I really don’t care.” Serenity is full of love and desire, the kind of desire that gives birth to courage.

And when you have courage, you are ready to take action – ready to change the things you can.