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      -- Concept Four

Grant Me the Strength?

When I first came to the program, I had a bit of trouble when it came to saying the Serenity Prayer. I had it memorized, but most of the time when I spoke it, it came out wrong. I would say "God, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change..."

Grant me the "strength"?

Well, time passed and eventually I consistently said it the way it was written. But one night when I was asked to speak on the Serenity Prayer, I relayed this story of my twisted tongue to my group. Then it hit me… I did say it right, even then. Because it does take strength to accept things I cannot change!

Especially in the beginning I needed a sort of strength to break old habits and to break through that denial and to actually accept all that cruddy stuff that brought me here to Al-Anon.

The Strength to Accept

I used to think "What the heck is wrong with me that I can't even say that prayer the right way?" Now I understand that it was my Higher Power's way of reminding me that sometimes accepting is a hard thing to do, even when it's as plain as the nose on my face that it's what I need to do!

And it helps me remember, when I speak to newcomers, how difficult that struggle with acceptance can be. I just tell them my story of those early days when serenity seemed a long way off, and about how I first needed to ask my HP to grant me the strength to accept those things I could not change.

Today I can also tell them how, once I found the strength to accept, I was granted serenity.


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