“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.”
One of the first gifts a recovering addict receives is the gift of serenity. It’s not by accident that ‘serenity’ is the first gift mentioned in the Serenity prayer. Before courage and wisdom can be granted, serenity must appear.
Serenity is not a skill we can develop – like playing guitar, or learning to speak a foreign language; nor is it a goal we reach for – like losing 20 pounds in 4 months.
Serenity is more like fruit that grows from a tree. The tree doesn’t have to expend any energy by trying hard to focus on the production of fruit. The fruit just simply grows when the time and the conditions are right.
The 12 step program is designed to create the proper conditions for the peaceful fruit of serenity. By surrendering our lives over to the care of God, we begin the process of recovery that restores us, once again, to sanity.
Sanity is the result of putting everything – how we live our lives – back in its proper order. Insanity is the result of a life lived in chaos. And it is a life lived in its proper order that allows the precious gift of serenity to grow.
Are you still waiting for serenity to show up in your life? Keep working the program by putting your life back in its proper order. And when you are not looking, serenity will show up just like grapes in a vineyard when the time is right.