Sunday, May 23, 2010

Help from The Serenity Prayer

I'm at another one of those times in my life where I find myself spending a lot of time measuring what I'm doing by the standard of the Serenity Prayer. As long as I can put things into those categories of what I have control over and what I don't, I seem to be able to stop the feeling that things are spinning out of control. It's funny how that simple measure can put things back into perspective.

Still I find myself wondering about many around me. There seem to be so many playing games, trying to control those around them, and, of course, some of them are trying to control me. Yet most of those people would say they are not game players. Their lack of understanding of what is and isn't within their control permeates everything they do.

I learned early on that making decisions on how someone else might respond was about wanting to control the behavior of others. Since I now "get" the futility of such actions, it was easy for me to shun such activity. I find no point in spinning my wheels hoping someone will respond as I hope. It's much easier to make decisions based on what I believe is right than on how I expect someone else to act.

That doesn't mean that I don't care how others react to what I do. It just means that wanting them to react in a given manner is no longer my motivation. Staying true to myself is a much easier goal than controlling the actions of others and it takes a lot less energy.

I "get" that many around me are not motivated in the same manner as I am. I am prepared for their disapproval because I don't play by their rules. Still bumping up against that is wearing even if it doesn't stop me from continuing on in my pursuit.

I think at times like these the Serenity Prayer helps me as well. When I can identify others behavior as controlling, I am less apt to be affected by it. I understand the fruitlessness of their endeavors, even if they don't. The frustration or anger they may feel is really a result of their own game playing and not about my ethics at all.
Being able to identify it as such makes it easier for me to not get caught up in their not take their issues on. It gives me some distance from the emotional turmoil controlling behavior takes. There's serenity in that.

1 comment:

English Rider said...

Good post. I call it "refusing to engage" in whatever drama is really someone else's to own.