One of my favorite prayers is the Serenity Prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.” I am reminded that there are actions that I can take to make a situation better. Sometimes there is no action for me to take because it is out of my control.
This blog series is based on the book, Boundaries. There are 10 Laws of Boundaries addressed in one of the chapters. This week we will explore the third one. Boundaries Law #3: “Power” to make amends for violating boundaries.
New Habit #3: I will mend broken fences in my relationships.
There are limitations to how much I can help someone. I cannot live their life for them. I also do not want to have their bad choices impact me. Instead of forcing change on bad choices, I have to change myself to interact with bad choices differently. “Since you cannot get them to change, you must change yourself so that their destructive patterns no longer work on you. Change your way of dealing with them, they may be motivated to change if their old ways no longer work.” In the process of believing I know better, I end up violating their right to make choices and to experience their consequences.
This lesson caught me before I started violating boundaries. I have teenagers in my life that could benefit from my mentoring. They will be transitioning into adulthood unprepared for what is ahead of them. As much as I want to take the lead on their launch, it is action that is not mine. I would be violating their boundaries and rights as young adults. I chose not to bulldoze over their boundaries. The choice I made was to ask, “what can I do to serve your highest good?” She told me her concerns about her level of deficiency in knowledge and preparation in specific areas. I offered some suggestions of ways that I could contribute to her life. She told me what I have that she would be open to accepting. One day I might bulldoze her boundary. That is the day I will have to mend a broken fence I created.
The Serenity Prayer reminds me that there are things that I can change and take action on. There are also things that are not mine to change. Sometimes I still need help figuring out the difference.
New Year, New Habits!