Balance! It’s what I decided would be the one word that would describe how I wanted to grow and improve my life in 2013. I entered into a 12-step program 142 days ago for compulsive eaters. I never considered myself as someone with an eating disorder although I had always been overweight. The fact of the matter is throughout my life I probably could have entered into any of the 12 step programs available out in the world; a program for alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, work, etc. You name it, at some point in my life I obsessed with each of them to a point they could have been labeled addiction!
So many people like myself, in an attempt to feel like we have some control in our lives when things actually seem to be spiraling out of control, turn to so many things outside of ourselves that actually only mask the issues we are dealing with. I realized that when I started the 12-step program, food was not the problem; it was years of not having balance in my life; worrying about things that were out of my control; ignoring things I could have affected; and trying to fill a spiritual void with things that cannot possibly exist in a peace-filled spirit; that was my problem. It’s when I turned things over to God and His will for me, and adopted the Serenity Prayer into my life daily, that I began to experience peace and joy at a level I never dreamed of. I thought I would share with you briefly what this simple, 3 section prayer is doing for me and what I believe it can do for whomever embraces it!
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change! I’m not sure if it’s a guy thing or just a people thing in general, but I can speak for myself in that I always felt like I needed to fix everything; be the problem-solver as though it was my job. If you are like me, you realize how much needless pressure we have been putting on ourselves our entire lives. When I came to a point where I really wanted things to change and to begin living a life of peace and joy, I took the first step. I turned my life over to God! I was incapable of changing by myself but with His strength and guidance, at least I began to believe! Then it was time to truly let go of a lot of things; but that’s where I need for God to give me the strength so that I could just let some things be and have faith in Him that they are like they are for a reason. I may not understand them but that is OK as well! He has got my back!
Courage to change the things I can. With the chaos of always trying to fix things I never had the capability to change, I totally ignored the simple things I could change that would actually make a positive difference in my life. Things such as praying everyday; working out; eating right; taking some quiet time; playing with my kids; taking my wife for a night out; I could go on! The fact that when I began to let go and let God, it was as if life slowed a little and I had the time I needed to do what is truly important, LIFE! PEOPLE! RELATIONSHIPS! CONNECTING! Not money, jobs, social status, etc. What can you change and begin to move in that direction!
And the Wisdom to know the difference! Wisdom is something we are not typically born with; it is acquired by turning to God and letting Him guide you. He may place certain people in your life that bring you wisdom. He may allow you to experience some struggle that when you come out of the other side, you are stronger and you have gained wisdom. Regardless of how you receive, you must be constantly pursuing an increase of wisdom in your life. When this happens, clarity begins to drift in and you know the things you can and can’t change! You begin to experience peace, joy and balance in all areas of your life! You realize that the control you desired when drinking, gambling, eating or whatever addiction possessed you can actually be found by surrender! Letting go! It can be hard to understand how one can feel a sense of control in their life by relinquishing control; but then again that is the awesomeness of God! He can make the impossible; possible! Serenity NOW!