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Villains get punished and heroes triumph in well-made plays and books. In life it’s not easy to say who’s who. Most of us are heroic sometimes and villainous other times.

Our lives are an uneven mixture of triumph, reward, and hanging-in. Unjust events happen: children die, airplanes crash, rivers flood. The world contains starvation and abundance, violence and gentleness in its pattern.

The strands of right and wrong, good and bad, are mingled. There’s no untangling them. What contributes to our personal progress is our ability to accept this bewildering complexity. To live wholeheartedly, yet to detach ourselves from the outcomes of our actions is the secret of serenity.

When a catastrophe strikes, we may be unable to turn it over, to find any good in it. We don’t know all there is to know; we see only a part of the world’s pattern — hanging on to a disaster multiplies its effects. We must feel our feelings and let them go.

Depression is familiar to us all, and less incapacitating than it used to be. We have made progress, we can be assured. “This too shall pass” is not an empty slogan.

Each of us can recall, with ease probably, a period we thought we’d never survive. Maybe our problem was family-related, or a tough on-the-job situation. Or maybe we felt inadequate and lacking in strength to cope with all situations. But we managed. Here we are today, taking charge of our lives and moving forward in search of serenity.

Serenity no doubt eludes us, again and again, throughout the day. But we can let our minds rest. We can give our thoughts to the wind, and serenity will find us. Serenity’s peace nurtures us, strengthens us to withstand the turmoil ahead. There is always turmoil ahead. Life’s lessons are found there. The irony is that a life with no problems doesn’t offer the opportunities we must have if we are to grow.

Our progress today, and certainly our serenity, is enhanced by our willingness to accept all that we are blessed with today. Not only to accept, but to celebrate, trusting that these events are moving us toward our special destiny.

Flowing with the twists and turns in our lives, rather than resisting them, guarantees smooth sailing, helps us to maximize our opportunities, increases our serenity. Accepting our powerlessness over all but our own attitude is the first step we need to take toward finding serenity.

Resistance, whether it is against a person or a situation in our lives, will compound the problem as we perceive it. We can believe in the advantages for growth that all experiences offer. We can sail with our experiences. We can be open to them so they can carry us to our destination. We can trust, simply trust, that all is well and in our favor, every moment.

I will let the serene moments wash over me. I will cherish them. They soften me. And the blows of today’s tumultuous storm will be lessened.


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