Guest Blogger: Mr. Rick C.
As a gesture of good-will after my recent work stoppage and because “The Dogs”, have asked me to make a statement, I am, once again, taking over the blog. To begin, “The Dogs” would like to indicate that they are quite happy and realize that running away is just what dogs do… getting caught was their mistake. Also, they do not like vegetarian dog food and would prefer something coyote flavored.
In response to a recent blog by PDQ (That is short for Princess Dr. Sana Johnson-Quijada and was recently modified after she sent $19.95 to a website and found that she is indeed Lebanese Royalty), Carl wrote…. “The serenity prayer has never given me any serenity. I have never had this alleged wisdom to know what I can or cannot change but I have developed the ability to know that after I have tried to change something for the 938th time without success some of that wisdom seeps in and it is time to find something else which will trouble me. Huh?”
I like reading Carl’s stuff because he frequently misses the obvious like I do. Although, I am not a real psychiatrist in this country or many others… I recognize and am able to quickly diagnose issues and problems in others. This is not really an ability that I have tried to develop and sometimes I even wish I could make it go away. The ability is based on a principle known as “You Spot It, You Got”. I did not invent this technique, however, I have much experience using it. The basic principal is that when I am able to identify an issue in someone else it is usually because I “deal” with that same issue. The reason I put deal in “”’s (that may be one of the finest uses of punctuation ever) is because I have no choice as to whether I “deal” with an issue I have or not. I either deal with it by ignoring it, denying that it exist, suppressing it, or acknowledging it and finding a solution for it. Kind of like that whole gravity thing… regardless of my opinion or mood… I have to deal with it.
Back to fixing my friend Carl… Guys like us tend to over analyze things to the “938th” degree. When someone like Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Edison tries something over and over expecting different results… they are called geniuses and inventors. When guys like us do it, it’s called insanity Perhaps we are just people who tend to over do things like alcohol, drugs, gambling, eating, cigar smoking, and even PERSISTANCE. I’m thinking that a Persistance Anonymous program might be what we need. In lieu of that, we have the Serenity Prayer which Carl refers to.
God, Grant me the Serenity
To Accept the things I can not change
To Change the things I can and
the wisdom to know the difference
I think that everyone practices this prayer, to some degree, whether they admit it or not. Let’s say that I have taken a step up in life and acquired a nice minivan. (real doctor’s drive them, they must be nice) I am running late but stop at a red light. I stopped because I accepted that I could not change the light. By stopping, even if unhappily, there has been a level of acceptance. While at the red light, I jump out and put a nice “Breast Cancer Awareness” Sticker on my car (I do this for several reasons… because it is a great cause, because I can now drive faster and more erratic and people will understand, and because it looks nice next to my “Support Your Local Police” sticker). Upon getting back into the mini-van, I pick up the phone and call to let my appointment know that I am running late. Hence, I have changed the things I can and accepted that which I could not change. For me, it is easy to “talk” about whether I accept things or not; however, my actions are a far better indicator. I view serenity kind of like heat…. even at the coldest place on earth, there is a bit of heat present. The total absence of heat would result in a temperature of -459 F (-273 C) or 0 Kelvin. If, like Carl, we feel that our serenity is the equivalent of a cold spell in Siberia… it’s still there, we just need to warm it up. By accepting only one thing, I have found that the change in perspective changed my serenity. What is that one thing? I am persistent and it’s the way I am wired. This persistence can get frustrating way before I get to the 938th try, but, it also allows me to come up with solutions for problems that other have given up on.
How have your actions demonstrated acceptance even when your words didn’t? How much training can two dogs handle? What other stickers should be on the back of my minivan? Does anyone own a Flowbee? Tell me your story.
- What Recovering Alcoholics Can Teach Us About Happiness (psychologytoday.com)