"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". -Reinhold Niebuhr
Most people don't know who wrote the serenity prayer, or think it is entire in the form above (it's not, theres more to it which you can find in the link above ) and consider it non denominational (when you see the entire form you see it's not). Some think it is a magic mantra to be riding above it all, then think they've failed somehow or that it doesn't work. It's universal popularity though points to a great value in it.
I love this prayer, I have been saying it most of my life but I have come to understand it in my own way. I like to read the fine print before I sign a contract and I'm careful what I ask the universe for, cuz it just might be listening.I am by no means an authority on prayer. This is just my own take, please take it constructively, if you care to at all.
If you've been saying the serenity prayer and are feeling you just arent getting it because you aren't serene, courageous or wise, stop and read the thing again.I don't know anyone who can entirely claim to be serene, courageous or wise.When I say the serenity prayer, the idea is that I am asking for and may be granted (granted, as in LOANED) just enough serenity (maybe a smidgen) to have the sense to accept what isn't in my power to change (like the weather, or where others are at in their lessons), enough courage to be self accountable enough to stop seeing myself as stuck and maybe see that others are going through similar things and then to be interested in how and ultimately to be motivated to do something about what I can (which usually proves to be rather satisfying, even fun) and finally just non stupid enough to not bang my head against a brick wall about it all.
Bear in mind that the alternative to acceptance is denial, the alternative to change (however scary) is stagnation and the rest is really a no brainer.
So if you aren't in too much denial, are willing to work with what might be growing out of an experience and not wasting too much energy feeling like you have to have it all figured out immediately, just seeing the next few right things to do, then you're getting it.
No doubt there are others who are better and worse at it, but we make our own prizes every day. I try to see the things that make me reach for the desire in this prayer as opportunities for compassion, things that wake me up and say "what's really important" and as the cornerstones of some of the best friendships in my life.