Serenity Prayer - Acceptance

In studying the Serenity Prayer this week, we want an awareness & focus to be on what the words mean, not memorization and repetitiveness of the popular prayer. Let's look at the second line which focuses on acceptance.

"To Accept the Things I Cannot Change"

According to, the word "accept" can mean:

  • to receive with approval or favor
  • to agree or consent to
  • to receive
  • to regard as true or sound
  • to regard as normal, suitable or usual
  • to understand
  • to receive without adverse reaction

After asking for peace (serenity), we then are asking to understand, or to regard/receive as true and sound the things we cannot change. This means we acknowledge there are some things, people & choices that are out of our control, and that we accept these things. We seek undertanding of our personal limitations without adverse/negative reaction.

We admit, "Hey this is normal & usual that I cannot change all things, & the same applies to everyone else". We have to evaluate and recognize, "I cannot make my spouse quit smoking cigarettes", or "I cannot make other drivers more friendly on the roads", or "I cannot make my parent give me the approval I am wanting from them". We realize if we continue with old thinking we will drive ourselves crazy (adverse reaction!).

We encourage you to evaluate if there's anything in your life you're trying to control but rather you need to let go. We hope you keep reading with us the rest of the week as we discuss Courage & Wisdom. Thank you!

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.