Courage to accept the things that I can not change and wisdom to know the difference.
Acceptance is not easy, it is brutally hard, in fact, deeply painful - at times. It does not happen over night and is not something entered into willingly. Acceptance, courage, wisdom, change often come as a result of something else, that something that disrupts and causes disarray.
I was sitting in my office the other day, thinking about the turn of events of the last few weeks, getting over my disappointment, trying not to seek revenge or vengeance, and hopelessly trying to let it go. My head and even my heart wanted them to pay, to cause some hurt, I was human, I felt the wrong that was done and the helpless feeling of not being in power to do anything about it.
Then I was assailed with a week of news that made me feel angry and furious at the state of affairs in our country that even rendered the wrong done to me possible. I despise bullies with every fiber of my being. I literally hate those who do nothing more than try to ruin the lives of and deconstruct the existence of someone who is not in a position greater than them - especially when they use someone's livlihood, money, food, and health as the battering ram of their abuse. That was the state of our political life the past week with attacks against the ACA, the Cruz stunt without realizing the true message of Green Eggs and Ham, and even within families. Financial pressures have a way of bringing out the school yard bully in some people and they taunt, knowing they are destroying someone, but doing it for their own sick pleasure. Like the Republicans and their fat-on-the-hog all-out-assault against the American people because they do not like the color of the President' skin. Like the Tea Party that is literally white-male-protestant-bigots...no other way to describe them.
Sometimes it is enough to make one want to scream and shout, which I have done in my writing and posts and talking to people because I do believe there is power in rhetoric, in dialogue, in making people aware of the world around them.
But, there are some things I can not change.
Hearts and minds.
That seems odd to me, in a way, to write that, but it is true. I can not stop the addict from ingesting whatever is their vice - sex, porn, drugs, alcohol, or food. I can not stop the racist bigot from gorging on hate of me because I am a black woman and fear of my sons because they are black males. I can not stop the bosses who bully their employees to the point of nervous breakdown, unfair treatment, or unwarranted termination. I can not stop the spouses who dominate their mates because of money or position or religious dogma. I can not stop those things or change the minds of those who do those things.
And for a while, the realization of that made me angry and a bit sad.
I am a good person, a brave person as someone once told me, because I have spoken up and out. I have attempted to use my gifts for change and hope that even one heart would accept the humanity in another heart.
But there are some things I can not change and like the prayer they pray at those anonymous meetings people go to, I have to accept those things.
There is also a line in their prayer that says and the wisdom to know the difference.
Even in my acceptance, I am also using wisdom for the things I can change, like making sure I go vote in ever election and encouraging the people I know to do the same. I speak out and up about injustice when it is in my power to do so. To say that it is not right to bully someone just because you have a little more money or a little more position. I can change some things.
Acceptance is not easy, it is painful at times and brutal at others, it is also peace-filled.
Sometimes, it really is what it is.
And that has to be a moment of serenity.