Change, Acceptance, or Resentment: 25 Wisdom Nuggets

An American theologian named Reinhold Niebuhr once used the following words in a prayer, which became known as the “Serenity Prayer.” These words are now used by adherents of certain “self-help” groups. They are: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Here is how things work: THINKING leads to EMOTIONS, which lead to ACTIONS. We are usually better off making serious decisions when we are not too emotionally charged. With this in mind, consider the following simple, but profound truth:

When we are faced with undesirable situations or circumstances, we only have three options: 1) Change them. 2) Accept them. 3) Resent them.

Number three is a common option, but not a good one, because it causes us a lot of mental suffering, negative energy and emotions, and can lead to far greater problems if we allow resentment to continue over time or become excessive.

The following 25 ‘truths’ are VERY helpful and practical ‘nuggets’ of wisdom that can be a huge help to any of us who may struggle with difficult problems, people, circumstances, situations, etc. from time to time. Even if you don’t actually practice the advice given below, it will be helpful to you just to KNOW this information. Simply reading and understanding the following will improve your life!

No matter whether you decide to change, accept, or resent something in the future, the following will help you to make a decision, or at least, cope with the consequences of the decision you make.

So please read these 25 short ‘gems’ of wisdom, pondering on any in particular that you may find interesting. I am thankful to God for blessing my life with this information, and I pray you find it as helpful as I have.

1) It is your resistance to “what is” (unalterable reality) that causes your suffering.

2) What other people do does not upset you. What you think about what they do upsets you.

3) Every time you get upset with someone else, it is because you have expectations or desires of approval or control (your expectations and desires are in conflict with what is).

4) Give up your expectations of others. If they come through great. If they don’t come through, that’s okay too.

5) You need difficult people in your life to provide opportunities to test your resistance to what is.

6) Suffering is also the source of spiritual awakening.

7) When you’re upset or life isn’t working, become an “observer” by mentally filtering the situation through the observer’s detachment. In other words, try to observe the situation objectively. Try to de-tach from it. If negative emotions arise, thoroughly “feel” the emotions until they dissipate.

8) If you want to understand something or someone, you must observe objectively without labeling or judgment.

9) You can detach from the chaos in your life by refusing to choose to control the outcome.

10) Don’t take things personally. Whoever is giving you grief would be giving grief to anyone who represented to them what you represent.

11) When you’re upset about the way it is and do nothing to change the situation, you are choosing to allow it to continue.

12) You don’t have to be in control to survive.

13) Refuse to make a choice based upon the expectations of others. Instead, act in ways consistent with your purpose.

14) Pursue your desires with no indecisiveness whatsoever. This assures you of getting what you want.

15) Love other white people as you would be loved, treasuring their uniqueness while accepting them as they are.

16) Very little in life is really important, so separate what is from what isn’t … and respond only to what is.

17) Simplicity is one of the key secrets of peace and well-being.

18) Practice being “in the moment.” That is, not thinking about the past or present, but focusing intently on what is occuring now.

19) Practice meditation, which is training the mind to stay steady on an object without wavering, and cultivating insight to see more clearly.

20) Where your attention goes, your energy flows.

21) Practice being centered; physically relaxed, emotionally calm, mentally focused, and spiritually aware.

22) Practice persistence. Increasing self-discipline is a matter of building the strength not to give up.

23) Value being who you are more than being accepted.

24) Imagination is more powerful than willpower. Change begins with imagination.

25) Never use fear as a justification for avoiding life.