To Surrender or To Change?

There has been a common theme that has been coming up in my Intuitive Counseling and Sacred Space Design sessions the last few months and that has been that my clients have been experiencing variations on the theme of change. For many of them, this has either been a time of tumultuous or invigorating change (or an alchemy of both sides now). And with change, fears can often arise.

One of the hardest lessons I think any of us need to learn is encapsulated in this powerful serenity prayer (insert "Universe" or another word instead of "God" if that resonates more authentically with you):

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."

So let's dive deeper into this...

There are situations in your life that are out of your control. And making yourself crazy or cycling into a spiral of despair or anger around it won't help, it will often just perpetuate your pain. That's not to say that there aren't instances in your life where it is perfectly normal and healthy to grieve, to be angry, to be disappointed or to be scared. But these emotions are meant to run through us and not run us.

When we allow our feelings to be felt, to be acknowledged, and to be honored we can heal even if it takes a long time to do so. However, fighting that which you cannot control doesn't assist you to move forward and it can often paralyze you or even be a tricky distraction from where your energy actually needs to go in order to move forward in your life.

How do you know what those things are that you cannot change and those that you can?

There is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer to that. While some things are obvious, others are not. In many instances, if you quiet your mind and fears around the issue you will often hear your own intuitive knowing make it clear to you. Often these issues that you cannot change are the kind of things where you play out different scenarios in reaction to them and realize that you are just spinning as none of these paths would lead to shifting the situation.

Sometimes there is something that has happened directly to us or something that has affected us that we cannot change but there are ripples that are coming from that issue that you can change.

Your love left can't change that...but you can change your perception of the situation and yourself in the wake of that loss. And perhaps with a perception change their might even be some hidden gifts. Perhaps he or she left you, but perhaps it was a decision that ultimately is best for you even if it might be too painful to see it now. Or maybe there is a lesson in this loss of a pattern of being in relationship with yourself and/or with others that needs to shift.

Your finances have taken a recent lost your job...your stocks can't change that...but you can change the way you spend and invest your money going forward. You can decide to look for a new job that is perhaps more in line with your soul as well as your bills. You can choose to get yourself into a "peak state" to do so instead of letting it affect your confidence and sense of worth. You can look honestly at your spending habits and see where empowering changes can be made. You can decide to pay more attention to where you are invested and take a more active role in your investments (perhaps it even means investing more in companies that are aligned with your core values and beliefs).

Your political beliefs don't match up with today's political perhaps can't currently change who is elected or certain political actions that have been taken, but you can educate yourself on where action would be most effective on issues that matter to you and then take action that feels right for you to take. You can gather together people you know who want to move out of despair and who want to take action. You can support organizations that you trust that are already set up to fight on the behalf of issues that are core to you. You could even run for office yourself.

You're having some health may or may not be able to change that. But you can educate yourself more fully about what you may be able to change. You can gather support for yourself and in the direction of the change you desire. You can empower yourself around some of the energetic and/or psychological currents that might be impacting your health or even a part of the root of your illness (while being conscious to not use any of this as a way to blame yourself along the way). You can take actions in support of your health and your heart in the process.

In other words...

You might not be able to circumvent despair, heartbreak, illness, or loss...but an antidote to despair can be action.

Action can also "simply" mean that you actively love yourself more and give yourself space to grieve. Someone you love just died, perhaps your action is simply to give yourself more time to grieve and to gently seek out that which is soothing to your heart. Your call to action during any challenging time, may be very different than someone else's...honor that. But if you find yourself going into a place of despair, ask yourself is this helping me or is this a story or pattern I need to move out of. You may or may not need some help in doing this, as sometimes we all can get mired down in patterns that no longer serves us.

When we are presented with challenging life situations, we must accept them first as they are but not worse than they are. We can then choose how to move through these times and perhaps even learn how to grow from these challenges. This is not necessarily a passive experience, for peace is often not passive. But starting from a place of clarity, about what you can change and what you can't, can be quite empowering, transformative and nourishing.


How are you with accepting things you cannot change? How are you at having the courage to change the things you can? Do you have any strategies, tools or tips on either accepting what you cannot change or having the courage to change? I would love to know about them in the comments below!