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I am actually feeling this way tonight so I have to take a pause and remember the serenity prayer.!! My daughter is 2 mos sober (she was diagnosed with severe addiction) and will start a new program on Thursday. I have to remind myself that the good Lord has been by my side on this difficult journey and many experts on addiction have provided me with sound advice. I also have to remind myself I do not know all the answers and this is a “one day at a time situation”.
Kindness to you and your daughter Robin Ann.
I’m late in posting on this Tuesday….had trouble earlier with sign-in. But I did read everyone’s responses this morning during my prayer and meditation time. As always, your sharings inspired and encouraged my spirit.
This is an interesting question for me because lately I have been trying to make sense of the paradox that I can be both powerless AND infused with Divine Power. The Serenity Prayer as shared by Dolores helps me to embrace both of these truths. And in the end, like many have shared, it is my Faith and my connection to God and Spirit that are my Sources of wisdom and guidance that help me to make the best choices.
It is so easy to feel powerless against all the suffering in the world, but I try to remember 2 things:
“We can’t all do great things, but we can all do small things with great Love” Mother Teresa
“A light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it.” John 1:5
Om Shanti….peace, peace to you all this day 🙏
When I feel overwhelmed, which I
often do, I can get very binary.
By remembering that I always have the
choice of coming back to this present
moment, I can feel the weight lift off of me.
There is almost alway more than a few
choices. I know it’s hard, but asking for
help can also yield results. And if nothing
else, maybe some general support.
I have tried to always follow Reinhold Niebuhr’ serenity prayer: “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. ” (With varying degrees of success.) Or, as Kenny Rogers said, “Know when to hold, know when to fold, know when to walk away, know when to run.”
Other tactics include what has been posted: music, napping, praying, meditating, writing. Telling my troubles to my four-legged friend also helps.
I have power over myself, but nothing else. If I feel powerless it means I’ve given my power away. I need to ask myself “what”, “why?”, and “how this happened?”. Once I sit and investigate what got me into this situation I can evaluate how it all fits into my life and how I’d like to proceed (if at all).
My faith. I pray, meditate & focus on what I can control, (primarily my thoughts). I ask for guidance from the Divine. Yoga & walking are big big guides, too.
Happy Halloween All….🎃🍁🧙♀️👻🏴☠️🍂🎃
When I feel powerless, what helps me to see the choices available to me is taking a moment to pray. I usually try to go to God for most of the answers in my life. But when I need support in my day to day, I look to my community. I can get wrapped up in my thoughts and usually talking to a trusted friend offers me some objective perspective. Or even having a friend around while I am trying to figure things out helps me to know that I am not alone. Writing has also been a personal tool in times where I cannot phone a friend and I need to find the answers on my own. Even just being able to recognize my thought patterns is helpful in acknowledging what is and what is not working for me in that present moment and then I can begin to brainstorm on how to expand my options.
First I stop in the chaos. I remember that I have always been taken care of in many ways.
Like, Mike, “I trust in the history of my life.”
In silence I stop to trust in the history of my life, realizing that God has always been graciously present throughout my life, guiding me in ways far beyond my own ability and awareness.
I am with you in this Mike.
When I feel powerless, I know that it is not time for complicated thoughts and wonderings. Lullaby myself in soothing music and then wake up with a fresh mind helps me get back my energy and ready to deal with what is waiting for me.
Prayer, meditation and focusing on the breath.
Trusting Infinite God and not my finite self leads me through experiences of powerlessness.
I refuse to be a victim. I refrain from Why me? I do my best to choose love over fear. As Laura so succinctly shared: “I hold no power over most events, but I always have the power to decide how I will act.”
I share a reflection I wrote several years ago on the Power of Choice:
THE POWER TO CHOOSE
My atheist uncle puts it this way: “Religions can’t agree on what is right and what is wrong. They have justified horrific and unbelievably cruel behavior in the name of God throughout our history. But one thing they all claim to believe is that God is love, so I have come to the conclusion that my job is to love the world.” His choice is quite challenging but speaks volumes about our power to choose.
If we in America looked out at the world with love when the terrorists used planes as bombs on 9/11, would we have taken time to ask ourselves: “Why do they hate us? Why do they feel threatened by us? What behavior have we exhibited that might have contributed to this violence? Is more violence the way to solve the problem?”
If we looked out at the world with love, would we have invaded Iraq? Would we have deposed someone (Hussein) we considered a tyrant without a plan that precluded the tyranny that has ensued from our actions?
If we look out at the world with love, would we ignore all of the poverty, injustice, and hunger that are rampant in our own country? If we don’t look at this soon, will we destroy our precious democracy from within?
In his book, “Open mind, Open heart,” Thomas Keating says, “…Though we are not God, God and our true self are the same thing.” When are we going to understand that we hold the keys to the Kingdom that Jesus said is close at hand? When are we going to stop playing God with our finite knowledge and start manifesting the God Jesus called Abba?
Jesus in the Gospel of John tells us “to love one another as he loved us; to care for each other; to bear each others burdens and bind each others wounds and so we will know his return.” The second coming is not Jesus in the flesh. It is you and I becoming instruments of his authentic and life-giving love in the world.
We have agreed to die with Jesus but we have yet to rise with him. Perhaps, this is why we do not understand the resurrection. We have chosen to be victims. We are still living separate from God—locked in our fear-laden, fear-driven, life-threatening tomb—afraid of the light that will void our denial and demand a personal response from each of us.
If you want to change the world, do not plead with a deity that is separate from you. Call forth the deity that dwells within you and like Lazarus, the burial cloths will fall away and you will come out of the cave free to be God’s compassion in the world. St. Paul says that “We live and move and have our very being in God.” Free yourself. Let the awesome power of love work through you; let it play you. Pray for willingness to be fully human for when you are fully-human, you will manifest divinity. Jesus proved that.
Even embracing a good cause without this willingness can lead to harm. Intention is everything and constant vigilance is required to respond not react to the gift of life—to the the glory of resurrection. We have created the violence, the wars, the numbness, the despair, by decisions we have made and failed to make. We must give up our scapegoats and take responsibility for what we have created both personally and collectively.
Believers and non-believers have the same task:
Rise from the tomb of indifference.
Refuse to justify violence in the name of Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, or any other person, place, or thing that you’ve deified.
Realize that nothing needs to be destroyed but everything needs to be transformed. No one needs to win. No one has to lose. Everyone needs to take responsibility for this messy world and choose to respond with love, with agape, before it is too late.
God is not going to fix this! God has given us free will. God has given us the choice. We need open that gift of our life with awe and share it with all. Make it one, whole, holy Present/Presence.
WOW! Thank you.
I write. Writing everything down helps me to see things for what they are and I can consider a situation more clearly. That and discussing things with my children who are all so supportive.
Butterfly, you wrote my response before I could.🧡 Writing, stream of consciousness has helped me, over the years, work situations through.
Secondly, a conversation with a trusted other can also be helpful to me. At times, I will ask that person for what I want out of the conversation as well. And lastly, I will sit quietly with the situation and open my heart to revelation.
I hold no power over most events, but I always have the power to decide how I will act.
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