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#449195 - 10/04/13 06:21 PM Reinhold Niebuhr
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3351
Loc: O Kanada
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.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

this speaks to me.


#449208 - 10/04/13 09:17 PM Re: Reinhold Niebuhr [Re: victor-victim]
Shyshark Offline

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 413
Loc: Canada
I grew up with this prayer.
It was embroidered, framed, and mounted on the wall of our living room ...
not long after I was born.
When pregnant with me my Mom had had enough of my Dad's drinking
and told him she would not come home with me and my siblings if he didn't stop.
I was born Apr 14 ... his sobriety date was Sep 4

This is AA's credo ... the first 4 lines.

" 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. "

It pretty much says it all doesn't it.

I repeat it still and often ... ignoring the God part.
I believe there is something out there greater than the sum total of humanity.
I don't know what it is ...
but I know sure as hell it isn't what I was taught it was.

My Father's alcoholism is, to a large degree, responsible for the dysfunction
in my family.
It was an unspoken rule in the house,
"Take care of your own problems ... don't bring them home ... don't talk about them ...
Dad might start drinking again if he has to deal with too much stress."
Because my parents lives were dedicated to my Father's recovery ...
especially in the years immediately following my birth ...
there was little time or attention for me.
Don't get me wrong.
I was very well taken care of, and my extended family were wonderful,
especially my maternal Grandfather and Uncle.
They lavished me with their attention ... my whole life ... to me they were Gods,
and still are.
It came to me that perhaps they made me special because they knew I wasn't that at home.
I'd give a great deal to get another hug from Grampa.
Since 'coming out' with my abuse there has grown a distance with my family ...
including my Uncle.

Nobody wants to talk about it.

Only 2 people made any real effort to help me ... kinda ...

My Aunt was married to my first perp's older brother, so I asked her if she could
find a picture of him taken in 1957 or thereabouts ... she found 3.
Harvy was pretty close to a perfect match to a vision I have carried in my head my whole life ...
the face of a man with dark wavy black hair, a blue 5 o'clock shadow, deep brown eyes,
and ... in particular ... a deep cleft in his chin.
Of course the pictures were black and white and only one clearly showed his face,
and my Aunt said his hair was very dark brown and he was too young then to have a 5 o'clock shadow,
but he was very outdoorsy and was a farmer, and she recalled that he was always darkly tanned ...
and very manly and handsome.
He loved little kids.
The clincher was the chin. She verified that he was the only man she knew from the community
and miles around that had such a deeply clefted chin.
My first shrink pointed out that, in the back of a 1957 Coupe De Ville, he would have looked quite dark.

I only knew to ask my Aunt because of what my older brother, 5 years, told me.
I asked him who was around at that time that matched my description.
He didn't hesitate a second ... and said that was Harvey.
Now get this ... his comment right after we determined who it was ... was...
and I quote ...
"well !!! ... what was wrong with me! ... Nothing like that happened to me!"
That should give you some idea of how ego centric and self centered my immediate family was.
We were/are each warm, loving people ... but when it came to our immediate family ...
we each stood alone.

My goodness!
I'm sorry I went on like that.
I've been thinking ...
The last time I spoke about this was with my last shrink ... at least 6 years ago.

As I said before ... this prayer is very meaningful to me.
It says it all.

One other poem is also quite significant. I think of it often ... and with great affection.
It got me through my teen years.
Go to ...
It is very beautiful.
Experience is a brutal teacher.

#449209 - 10/04/13 09:19 PM Re: Reinhold Niebuhr [Re: victor-victim]
Shyshark Offline

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 413
Loc: Canada
I did it again ... !!!!
hit submit instead of preview ...
I guess it's just as well
I don't think I would have posted it ...
it would have ended up on my big pile of
'didn't hit submit'
Experience is a brutal teacher.

#449245 - 10/05/13 03:02 AM Re: Reinhold Niebuhr [Re: victor-victim]
tbkkfile Online   content

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 197
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
Skyshark - you needed to say it and this is the place
Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Hobbit

#449247 - 10/05/13 03:39 AM Re: Reinhold Niebuhr [Re: victor-victim]
Shyshark Offline

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 413
Loc: Canada
Thank you tbkkfile
Experience is a brutal teacher.

#449249 - 10/05/13 03:51 AM Re: Reinhold Niebuhr [Re: victor-victim]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3351
Loc: O Kanada
i'm just glad it gave you something.
it always makes me think harder.


#449279 - 10/05/13 01:20 PM Re: Reinhold Niebuhr [Re: victor-victim]
Jacob S Offline

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 594
thank you shyshark. it sparked something in me.
Like a spent gladiator
crawling in the colosseum dust
who can count on his remaining limbs
all the people he can trust.
Like the one who stands behind him
cheering him on
Estatic when he stands defiant,
wild with abandon when he's gone

just stay alive.
do whatever you need to.
you are worth it.

#449280 - 10/05/13 01:38 PM Re: Reinhold Niebuhr [Re: Shyshark]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3351
Loc: O Kanada
i thought i would post it.
it is very inspirational.
i am a child of the universe.
i have a right to be here.

desiderata - by max ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920


#449303 - 10/05/13 09:36 PM Re: Reinhold Niebuhr [Re: victor-victim]
Shyshark Offline

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 413
Loc: Canada
Thank you for putting it up for people to read.

It is truly a beautiful inspiration.

You pointed out the 2 phrases that I clung to in my teens.

In the house no single major decision was ever made with my welfare in mind.
Others or circumstances were always more important than me.
Their present and future were the only considerations.
When it really mattered ...
When their decision would impact my life for the worse
When they KNEW that and did it anyway
I might just as well have been a piece of furniture ...
used ... placed ... moved ... forgotten until needed again ...
dusted or vacuumed now and again ...
for appearance's sake.

I was but an afterthought ... if they thought of me at all.

Outside the house I was tormented and told day after day after day
relentlessly ... that I was only something to make fun of and
torture for their own pleasure.
Useless ... stupid ... ugly ... worthless
I didn't belong ... I wasn't welcome ... I was nothing.

"You are a child of the universe" ...
"You have the right to be here" ...

The Serenity Prayer got me through my late youth ...
Desiderata made my teens bearable.

They were my religion
my faith
my hope
my strength

They served me well then
They've served me well always
The two things
I could never lose
could never be taken away from me.
Experience is a brutal teacher.

#449307 - 10/05/13 11:02 PM Re: Reinhold Niebuhr [Re: victor-victim]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3351
Loc: O Kanada

richard burton reads:

musical version:

serenity prayer

jonathan winters reads:


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