An oft quoted meditation, often attributed to the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, asks for the “serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” His actual prayer differed in a significant way by stating “serenity to accept the things that cannot be helped.” Today and for the next two days I will quote various parts of that text in relation to the present time.
If I wanted to I could watch the news 24/7. I could also be completely insane! In order to maintain a healthy blood pressure, sleep well at night, and get along with my husband, I limit myself to the daily press conferences of my state governor. I also read the emails from my U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative and local state legislators. In each of these communications I learn of the toll of the virus and what is being done at the local level to deal with it. None of these bring partisan politics, blame or accusations to me. Occasionally I will learn of a difficult struggle between our governor and the President of the United States to acquire life saving equipment for our state in the middle of a severe outbreak of illness. That is more than enough exposure for me.
Why when I have generally followed the news pretty regularly? Because when I am exposed to national news, particularly from the White House, I react with a strong urge to DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE OUR LEADERS. But I can’t. They are, to use some of the available synonyms above, “unvarying and inflexible.” And living in the space with the need to do something without the power to do it is traumatic. And I don’t need any more trauma.
So in relation to the national handling of our disease I am no longer embroiled. I really can’t change any of it. And believing that I can just damages my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.
Tomorrow I’ll look at the things I can change.