Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

~Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

Things I cannot change:

Some will treat my blog as an opportunity for psychoanalysis, which may dilute the pro-life, anti-abortion message.

These same people may post information that will be extraordinarily helpful to others, in spite of me and my own agenda, including testimony from other women harmed by their abortions and the dire psychological consequences. This will strengthen the pro-life message.

A regular examination of conscience is necessary for spiritual health. However, obsessive self-reflection is narcissistic. It is prevalent because we live in a “me” culture influenced by the unwise: pop psychologists who confuse healing with judging, and materialists who are obsessed with their favorite things. We cannot talk people into good mental health simply by issuing edicts, and we will not find eternal life in the transient things of this world. Life is richer and more complex, thank God.

Humans fall into despair at times, and while it is undesirable to remain in that state, it is not unreasonable to move in and out of it throughout our lives. People die in this world, so it cannot be all joy. Some people will continue to insist that constant happiness is attainable through obsessive self-examination, and they will blame unhappy people for not trying hard enough to change. It can be difficult to understand that happiness and unhappiness are not states to which blame can be applied. They are emotions which can paradoxically co-exist in the human heart. Those who try to help the unhappy are not heartless – far from it. They are hardest on themselves when they feel unhappy, because they have the unrealistic expectation that if they would only do everything “right,” they would be happy all the time. It is a falsehood that confuses and misguides many well-intentioned souls. At times, they may desire the healing of others to show themselves the way to healing, too, but they are bound to be frustrated in this quest.

People will make snap judgments about where I am in the healing process even though this is not the forum, and they do not have enough information to do so. The information provided herein is controlled solely by me, and it is not possible, even for a professional therapist, to elicit the information needed to reach conclusions about my psychological, physical, or emotional conditions. The temptation to offer advice unasked is great, and all compassionate people do it to a certain extent. It is a sign of their compassion. We will be better served when we learn to offer our hearts to others who suffer instead of road maps. Words of sympathy will further us all on our journeys, particularly since each of us must follow his or her own signposts. My route may not be the same as everyone else's, but travel it I must. We must discern when a caution sign placed before others is absolutely necessary, as for example, when they take a path that endangers their immortal souls, and when it is only backseat driving.

People often ask others the questions that they most need answered for themselves, and while they feel they can successfully shed light on everyone else’s problems, they will fail to see their own reflections no matter how brightly lit it is around them. This is especially true of those who participate in the healing arts, or those like me who have aspired to them.

I cannot fulfill everyone’s expectations.

Things I can change: