Rise Above

As we walk through life, there are always going to be situations that drive us nuts, make us question our loyalties, and try our patience. The recent political tornado certainly was one of those trying situations. That’s just how life is; some things go our way, some things don’t.

In the case of the latest presidential election, no matter what our political leanings are, it is never a bad thing to wish the winner of the race good luck. We may not agree with the winner, but we need to know when to move on. When in doubt, rise above.

A fire on its own will eventually burn itself out; but a fire constantly fed will spread with amazing speed, doing untold damage. In America, we have the right to disagree and voice our objections; one of the many privileges we have as citizens. However, as we learned in grade school, you don’t always get what you want. Sometimes that’s just how it goes.

Lest you get the impression that I am always calm, always accepting of things that are out of my control—I’m not. I’d like to be, but I’m human and I say and do things that, upon reflection, I wish I hadn’t said or done. I have to remind myself daily to rise above.

The following has become my daily routine to start my day off in a way that feels right to me. Without doing them, my day is off course. With them, I have my internal balance back. This is my three-step program for each day:

  • I thank God for all I have, especially for all the people and animals who are in my life, who have been in my life and who will be in my life. I thank Him for health and strength, for a safe roof over my head, for a warm bed, for clothing, for food and water, for the gifts and talents I’ve been given, for education and for all of my freedoms as an American citizen.
  • I apologize to God for all my failings, spitefulness, ingratitude and all things I have done wrong. I ask for help to be better the next day; to rise above.
  • I ask for help from God for my loved ones, my friends, neighbors, all animals, and all those who are in trouble, sorrow, need or any kind of sickness. I also ask help for myself.

And then there is this: “*God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Once I’ve done this, I’m ready to start the day. No matter how the day goes, I am off to a good start. It’s up to me whether I let myself sink down below the surface, or rise above and stay positive.

When in doubt, rise above.

*The Serenity Prayer. Per Snopes.com:

“This simple yet expressive prayer wasn’t laid down in antiquity by one of the most famous people of his day; it was instead written in the early 1930s by Reinhold Niebuhr, an American theologian. While its wording has changed across the span of those eighty-plus years between then and now, even its earliest forms are clearly recognizable as the serenity prayer:


O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed,
The courage to change what can be changed,
and the wisdom to know the one from the other

Time and widespread use have served to tighten its wording into its best known form (as quoted above), but at one point a longer version also existed:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.