Finding Serenity in Chaos

Change and acceptance are essential in reaching serenity. Here are six ways to get to that peaceful state of mind.

- Posted on Jun 29, 2017

A wedding band on the sand.

Content provided by Good Samaritan Society.

While preparing for my wedding, my dad, Bob, was trying to stay busy to prevent himself from breaking down. He wasn’t sad about my marriage; no, he was excited about that.

He was having a difficult time accepting that my grandma had experienced a stroke earlier in the week. As her primary caregiver, Dad felt guilty that Grandma had fallen two nights before my wedding — a night he hadn’t gone to visit her.

My brother arrived at the reception site to help decorate and offer emotional support. Dad hugged him and I heard him quietly say, “This is God’s will.” This developed into a conversation between the two of them about how the Holy Spirit talks to us. “It’s how we know what God’s will is,” Dad said.

Dad talks about this with my brother often, and that’s one of the things he says: “God has a plan for you.” So when things go bad, I try to remember that. I might be angry at first, and say, “Why this? Why now,” but eventually I calm down and know God has a plan.

That knowledge — and being so busy — helped me get through the rest of that day. It helped my dad, too, especially when God gave him a physical sign of his plan.

While making another trip out to the car at the reception site, Dad noticed something shimmering on the dirt road. He picked up the shiny object and saw it was a silver ring. A phrase from the Serenity Prayer was engraved on it: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

Dad wore the ring for the rest of the wedding weekend to help him get through that difficult time and remind him of what the Holy Spirit told him that day. The rest of the weekend went well, and people told me it was a beautiful wedding, a perfect day.

That’s been almost a year ago already. When I think back about what I learned that day about change and acceptance, and how change and acceptance have been present in my own life, I think of six things that helped me through the past year:

1. Learn to control what you can, and let go of the rest

On the day of my wedding, there were 30 mph winds, and I had to change my plans for my hair and some décor. But I wanted an outdoor wedding, and it worked out in the end.

2. Rely on those who love you

My grandma was the only grandparent I was going to have at my wedding, so it was hard not having her there. But I feel close to my husband Matt’s grandma and think of her as a grandparent figure. I also have other family members and friends I’m close to, and I realized I had lots of people who cared about me there.

3. Approach challenges as a team

When we got married, I didn’t think of it as “two become one,” but as two become a team. We use our separate talents and remain independent, but rely on each other.

4. Keep the inner child alive

I sometimes say I married a 10-year-old, but in a good way. Humor is important; I don’t want to be one of those people who become “stuffy” as they get older. We both love stupid puns as well as being goofy with each other.

5. Find role models

My grandma and grandpa played Yahtzee with each other every night before bed. That was their thing; they made time for each other. My parents were really good at making sure my siblings and I remained close as a family. That’s something Matt and I want to do. We want to raise our future children so they remain close and learn how to deal with conflict, not shut each other out.

6. Be each other’s rock

When we were getting ready to close on our first home, we found out that doors needed to be on the kitchen pantry, so that delayed our closing. Matt called me from work, upset at the news, and I reassured him it would be OK. Most of the time it’s the other way around — he is reassuring me — but we know it’s important to be there for each other.

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Tags: Peace,Family
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