So, for a while now I’ve considered the serenity prayer a verb. Like I do it on stuff. Like, “I’m serenity prayering that dude who swiped the parking spot I wanted,” or, “I’m serenity prayering my hurt knee.” Here’s a recap: Gd, grant me the serenity to [1] accept the things I cannot change, [2] the courage to change the things I can, and [3] the wisdom to know the difference.

For a long time most of my focus has been on section 1, accepting things I cannot change, those things being every single thing in the universe other than myself: That Cleo the cat meows to go out and in and out again at two, three, and four in the morning, that quality outdoor umbrellas cost more than I want them to, that Mike’s idea of fun is not going to a dance club. I could go on.

Lately though, and not super-pleasantly, I’ve been creeping into section 2 territory, thinking about the courage to change the things I can – which is – eep – me – my feelings, my thoughts, my actions, my modus operandi. Crap, crap, crap. “Me no likey,” is the initial analysis on that one.

And I’ve got a lot of folks telling me there’s some good crap, gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow-type stuff happening if I get on section 2. And I’ve had some actual, profound, tastes of it myself. The better I get, the better people and things around me seem to get. But oy vey ugh. As I said, eeep.

Someone said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.   A friend of mine says that real insanity is actually doing the same thing over and over again knowing I’ll get the same result. Yuck.

And again, I’m not talking about anything having to do with anything tangible, this earthly plane kind of thing. I’m talking about that great internal weather system that affects my experience of all things tangible. It affects my breathing, my heart rate, my words, my actions, my ideas. It makes my knee hurt.

So ok, that’s where the courage part comes in. The courage is like the suction at the dentist’s office when they’re rinsing the teeth, pouring that cold shot of water into my mouth all around where really it could make me gag and drown almost but then they’re suctioning it out at the same time so it actually is ok. Cold water shot while suctioning. Genius. The courage is the suction, it makes what would be intolerable – looking at my part in it – tolerable.

And then I also like to load up on the love part if I’m going into section 2. Break out the love eyes and train them on myself, as if I were a five-year-old kid just learning how to be. Big time. I am human. I am doing the best I can. I am worthy of having a nice time, I mean, a wonderful time, being me, in this life, this body, this existence, right now.

I also sometimes think of it as the tart yogurt and the fruit on the bottom. If I mix it up the too sweet is not too sweet and the too tart is not too tart. A yogurt and fruit parfait of love and courage and work.  I'm digging in!