We recently did a Facebook Live event where our very own, Dr. Jospeh Frawley, described the serenity prayer in a new way that many have not heard before. For a video of the segment, make sure to visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/RecoveryRoadSantaBarbara/
The Ying and Yang represent the fundamental reality that there are some things we can control and some things that we can’t. But, as humans, we can care about both areas. Stress occurs when something we care about is being threatened. Sometimes they are things we can’t control but care about, and sometimes they are things that we care about that are under our control or should be and we don’t know how to protect or help them. The third part of the Serenity Prayer emphasizes getting the Wisdom to know the difference, represented by the curvy line that separates Ying and Yang. It is curvy because the boundary of control changes over time.
We get that wisdom by:
- Taking a timeout, letting our slower creative brain develop options(rather than reacting with past programs, habits, reactions)
- Sharing the problem which forces us to explain it to someone else and in doing so, we understand it better ourselves.
- Asking for help, either to determine if it should be under our control and if so, how to fix it or, if it is not under our control, how to respect ourselves letting go of the control but not the caring.
As the person in recovery practices these three steps, which we call the “Three Imperatives” they develop a healthy dialogue between these two areas of control. In short, they learn to “Surf” the Serenity Prayer. With practice, it becomes a very important sobriety skill.