• Paul Alexander

Seeking Serenity


I want serenity now! How often do we find ourselves wishing for that easy peaceful feeling that comes with ocean waves or sunlit drives through the mountains. Sometimes #peace and #serenity can be found in taking time away from our typical schedules of work and repetition, but often it is challenged by the realities of real struggles and how we face our day to day “stuff.” And yes we all have “stuff” which I call the things on our mind and heart that cause worry, concern, in trying to figure it all out with all the moving pieces.

What is it that prevents you from having more moments or hours or days of serenity? As a therapist I have witnessed how powerful it is to be able to talk about the things on one’s heart and mind. It is good to lay it out, understand it and be able to look at it. Sometime one needs to vent, to get the stuff out in a clearing space. We look at ways to handle and manage the tough situations by talking it through, having a map and perspective from which to navigate .

And other times there are just certain boulders, bricks and thorns that no matter how much we talk about or reassemble continue to cause distress or pain.

There is a #prayer my mother wrote in my 8th grade graduation book which I will call upon in those times. The well known “Serenity Prayer” helps me surrender the fight and place the issue outside my fix it list and stop requiring that I have to figure it all out. It is in letting go of the need to have to know or control everything that serenity can sometimes be found. It is kinda like a spiritual chill pill. Surrendering and letting go and releasing a concern, problem into a higher light, into God’s hands can sometimes sound like a bad greeting card. But for those who have explored and felt the realms of the good energy, the spiritual place of a higher dimension that in reality is ready to work with us and for us, serenity can find its way into those distressed places.

In my workshops and retreats, I ask participants to answer the following question:

What is one situation, issue, concern, struggle, guilt, regret you have come to know you cannot change, yet you keep hitting your head up against, trying to control, maneuver, or make it look different? Or what is a burden, worry you keep carrying around with you that you want to surrender to God and build a clear path for moving forward?

Then having spent some time talking about it , we go into the inner silence and connect with an all knowing place that exists and is ready to assist us. How one enter’s that space is up to you. A deep breath, a statement of intention , a prayer to the God or all knowing place within you are some suggestions to find the healing center. Then in a gentle way release , let go of the issue which you stated. By letting go in some manner either in imagination and thought you see it leaving you and perhaps into a bright light for healing, or blowing it far away with the aid of strong winds.

Serenity can come in moments, or hours, and even as a way of being for the core of our strength and inner self becomes reinforced as we manage the tough spots with a practice to commit to a spiritual practice based in knowing ourselves fully.

Paul Alexander, LCSW is a psychotherapist and singer/songwriter. “The Serenity Prayer” is available at cdbaby.com or at griefsong.com on the CD Love is Love.

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