Written November 9, 2016
“Even if things don’t unfold the way you expected, don’t be disheartened or give up. One who continues to advance will win in the end” ~ Daisaku Ikeda
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that people don’t act and situations don’t happen the way I want or expect them to. Every time I expect people to act or not act a certain way I am almost always disappointed, rarely am I pleasantly surprised. The same is true for situations. If you were to ask me which hurts more(people or situations), I’d have a hard time deciding.
It’s these kind of things that can lead to resentments if we don’t deal with them appropriately. A resentment is a feeling of deep, bitter anger and/or ill-will. Although they actually don’t weigh anything, resentments can weigh heavy on the heart. They can also eat away at us and kill us slowly, rather our insides, like a slow poison.
It’s been, and still is some days, a struggle to remind myself of the one thing that counteracts the poison of resentment – knowing that I am powerless, I have no control, over other people or situations. That’s not to say that I’m totally powerless. My power lies in how I act, react, and respond(or not in some cases) to what happens.
I have 2 choices; 1) I can stomp around, kicking things and wailing, “It’s just not fair!!” or 2) pull up my big girl panties and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Do I still have temper tantrums like a little child? Of course I do, just not as bad or as long as I used to.
Another thing that really helps is reminding myself that my Higher Power puts people in or takes them out of my life and puts me in situations or takes me out of them for a reason. Why does He do this? He does it to guide me in the right direction or steer me away from a collision course with disaster.
It’s very difficult to see it when I’m in the thick of it but if I keep hanging on to the faith, just a bit longer, I can look back and see what would’ve happened if this or that did/didn’t happened. It’s also very helpful to recite and break down the Serenity Prayer line by line. I ask myself who and what do I have control over? What can I change? In doing this I benefit in 2 ways; 1) my wobbly faith in Him grows stronger and 2) I can stop a resentment from brewing and festering inside me.
Thought for the day: 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.