Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Global Warming and the Serenity Prayer

fan

The highs this week, in my neck of the woods, will be in the upper 90’s. Today, it might even reach 100 degrees. This is not unheard of here in the Carolinas, but we typically stay in the 80s for most of the summer.

When I was a kid, in the 1960’s, my family didn’t have AC. We did have window fans though. And Popsicles. And a freezer I’d stick my head in and inhale deeply. I have no idea whether this is hazardous though, so I’m not recommending it. We rolled down the car windows to get air, except when my parents bought that portable air conditioner unit that fit into the passenger window of the ’68 Chevy for the drive from the East Coast to Camp Pendleton, California. Somewhere in the desert, the chord wouldn’t pull. Dad reached over and gave it a yank, and the machine spit ice water all over Mom making her shriek. We went back to rolling down the windows after that.

For most of human existence, there was no electricity, no AC, not even electric fans.

How did people get by with no electricity, no window fans, no Popsicles, even?

Now, as I start to think outside my own little world, how do so many people living in hotter climates  today still get by without air conditioning?  Am I spoiled or fortunate?

I don’t have central air, but I do have ceiling fans and two window units in my modest abode which I resist turning on  until it’s in the 90s.

But sometimes, like this week, even our abundant shade trees can’t keep it cool enough to prevent the heat and humidity from growing mold on my old shoes in the closet. The window units are running a lot more this week, not really for the shoes, but for the dogs.

When I think about the Serenity Prayer, which I wrote about last week, I usually include “The Weather” on my list of things I cannot change.  But what if we did this? What if this is global warming? Can we change it?

(I look forward to hearing what Pope Francis has to say about this later in the week.)

Most big changes take a long time. There are those things that maybe we can change, over time, with organization, like laws and injustice. We have to decide where to put our energy.

People changed the status of slavery so that it’s no longer legal in the US.  Once upon a time, women, and African Americans did not have the right to vote in my country. But brave women and men worked hard to change that one step at a time.

Can we change the weather?

I don’t know. But we can do our part to change our habits, and maybe that will, at least, slow down the destruction of our planet. At best, we can, help our lovely planet heal, one step at a time.

I’m partial to this list of 10 things we can do from “Flood London” http://www.floodlondon.com/global-warming/

Let us not take the earth for granted.

Today, let us have the courage to reduce our carbon footprints.

Let us express gratitude for the earth

…and for things like air conditioning, clean water, and Popsicles.

Earth, The Blue Marble

“The Blue Marble”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

This post was inspired by the prompt, humidity, a few weeks ago by Andi Floyd-Cumbo, leader of the Online Writing Community via Andilit, and topped off with my series on the Serenity Prayer.


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A Closer Look at The Serenity Prayer

clouds at sunset

Last week, in “How to Help an Addict (or Alcoholic)” I mentioned using the Serenity Prayer as a tool  that can apply to just about any situation. It occurred to me that some people might not be familiar with the Serenity Prayer:

“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.”

     Before I got into recovery from co-dependency and compulsive overeating, I’d see this prayer hanging on someone’s wall, and think, Yeah okay, that’s nice. But I didn’t pay much attention to it. Maybe it seemed too simple.

I’ve said the Serenity Prayer hundreds of times by now, with varying levels of awareness of its meaning.  Lately, I’ve been taking a closer look at the long version, which can be found here, and just realized the connection with mindfulness in the line, “enjoying one moment at a time.”

The Serenity Prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr, probably in the mid 1930’s, according to this Wikipedia article. The prayer was included in a book for army chaplains and service people in 1944.

Applying the Serenity Prayer, like most things in recovery, is easier said than done.

One way to work the short version of the Serenity Prayer is to clarify what I can and cannot change.

If I draw a line down the center of a piece of paper (sometimes I still like to use old fashioned paper and pen), I can put the things I cannot change, the things I need to accept, on one side of the paper.

On the other side, I can write what I can change.

For example:

I cannot change the past……………………………………I can change my actions now.

I cannot change my mistakes……………………………..I can learn from my mistakes.

I cannot change my childhood……………………………I can change my perspective.

I cannot erase the memory of big hurts………………………….I can forgive and let go.

When I can’t seem to forgive and let go…………..I can turn it over to God.

I cannot change other people’s illnesses………….I can love them and pray for them.

I cannot change that addiction causes irrational behavior…….I can present options.

I cannot make some one get sober………………………I can set boundaries for me.

I can’t keep people from being mean…………….I can try to understand or walk away.

…..

I need to remember that acceptance doesn’t mean I have to like what I’m accepting.

Acceptance frees me to focus on what I can change: me, my thoughts, and my actions.

I can change my attitude. I can focus more on what’s right than what’s wrong. I can cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

People may decide to change as a result of my actions, but that is not up to me.

So, how does this fit in with Anything Is Possible?

Change usually takes more time than I want it to.

God can change things we can’t.

There is usually something we can change about any situation.

(More on that later.)