Erin's Journals

Monday, June 1, 2020

Just a thought… Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. [Thomas Edison]

God, Grant me the Serenity to Accept the Things I Cannot Change,

The Courage to Change the Things I Can,

And the Wisdom to Know the Difference.

You come here to my journal for many reasons and I am grateful, but if you’re like me today, your heart is full of fear, anger and anguish. There are reasons for peace, but there are also reasons to fight – to stand up and shout “enough!”

Those words to the Serenity Prayer are really all I’ve been thinking of during this desperately sad and dangerous time in American history. Not just because the stress of feeling impotent and unable to help is so frustrating, but because I’m asking what change I can make. What we can do as friends and neighbours.

During the past week we have witnessed the most hateful and worst actions in our fellow humans. And we have been shown the absolute best and most hopeful in people as well. Of course, these elements are within each of us every day, but what we see and with whom we side during these tumultuous times depend greatly upon the filters that we’ve grown to view them through in our lifetime. Children are not born racist. Children learn what they live.

This is a time to re-examine those filters. We in Canada are not blameless when it comes to racism and long held prejudices and hatred. But it is still possible to react in horror as our neighbour’s house burns down, even if our own house is in far from perfect shape and in need of renovation. Just as in the case of a virus, we can close our doors to protect ourselves from the worst of what’s happening outside, but we are not immune to that which festers within. Call it “the courage to change the things we can.”

I will tell you that our spirits were brightened by visits with loved ones yesterday – safely and at a distance in both cases. Our morning began with us sipping coffee and reading Colin a book via FaceTime as he enjoyed his lunch; later my aunt and uncle came by and it turned an awful day around. We caught up on family news, had some laughs and felt our inner sparks being rekindled, instead of drowning in the smoldering sadness and anger we’ve been feeling for our friends and neighbours in the US.

For a time, we felt serenity.

It was the gift of family. Of love. Of connecting with those dear to us or reaching out to make sure that people we know in the midst of the unrest are safe and cared for. It was a time for wishing we could make things better, but having the wisdom to know the difference between what we can and cannot do. We have to start somewhere – and it starts at home.

This prayer is holding me fast these days and not only because it’s a building block of AA. But because it reminds me every day of what is important.

Please, June, be gentle. Enough.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, June 1, 2020