Desperately Seeking Serenity

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This has always been a favorite quote of mine; as someone who has been haunted by regret, stalked by doubt and mugged by insecurities and ego-fed waterfalls of dark, deep depression, this helps me. I may not be able to staunch the flow of the darkness, but I can choose to walk away, rather than stay and drown. I can fight the doubt with fellowship, friends and family who know the Truth and love me enough to speak it. I can open the drapes, let the sunlight in and chase the dark away, just as I can open the gates to my fragile and battered heart in the hopes of receiving healing grace.

No one will ever judge you as harshly or unreasonably as yourself; this I know to be true of me and has been one of the constants in my life. Reading this quote gave me permission to have my blunders and absurdities and put them into perspective; they aren’t failures or insurmountable errors. It is not a win/lose situation, either. Accepting whatever transpired throughout the day is key to ending the anxiety, the never-ending replay, criticizing and judging my choices, both by actions and failures to act. Letting go of all the possible choices I could’ve made, tracing the path to where things “could have” gone, all the things I “should have” done, along with the way I “should have” felt, thought, believed and of course, all the things I “should not” do, etc. You get the idea. It’s a hamster wheel version of the movie Speed, with my brain being Sandra and Keanu and the hamster wheel is the bus with the bomb. I loved the movie, hate the version in my brain. Letting go, embracing reality rather than escaping to the land of Endless Possibilities, learning from my blunders and finding the humor in my humanity are the roads that will take me to finding Serenity.

Leaving yesterday in the past, carrying the lessons into the present day and working towards tomorrow, if I am fortunate enough to be gifted another day. I cannot erase what has already been written in the book of my life, but I can learn from it all; the good, the bad and the really, really uncomfortable (that’s where the truth of it all lives) all have something of value and importance.

Serenity isn’t where everything is perfect or where there is no pain; I see it as a place where I am able to be at peace with my choices, an acceptance of things I cannot change, for trying to change what is not within your power to change will bring you a great many things, none of which is serenity. I see it as a place of constant gratitude, where nothing is taken for granted and even painful events are valued for the wisdom and strength they impart. It is a place where no tomorrow is guaranteed, no person will be there always and things of great importance and value have no price tag. All the riches have no weight and require no purse for they are the riches of memories, of friends and loves lost. They are days of summer, nights of thunderstorms and walks on the beach. They are trying oysters for the first time with a man I couldn’t take my eyes off. They are hearing the cry of my newborn son and seeing the love in his father’s eyes. They are a million hellos, good-byes and everything in between. This is where I wish to be, awash in Serenity.

asphalt dark dawn endless
Photo by Pixabay on

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