“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.”
When I was a kid, I had this written on a little statue of praying hands. We were not a particularly religious family; we had never attended church. The generation previous had felt spurned by the institution and that attitude had trickled down to a sort of disregard, but somehow this relic had ended up in my possession.
As an adult, I belong to a congregation and the members there have watched my children grow and have helped marked their milestones from baptism to confirmation. Still, I struggle occasionally with the battle between faith and science and whether there is a higher power capable of bestowing gifts of wisdom, courage and serenity or just a wonderful motivational speaker inspiring and employing a team of cheerleaders encouraging us to reach our highest potential.
Luckily, regardless of the strength of your faith, the message remains the same. At a certain point you realize there are things that you cannot change and if you are smart, you start controlling what you can, to try to manage what you can’t. Noah after all didn’t spend all his time trying to stop the rain, he just worked his tail off building a boat.
Now, I’m not against a good theological debate but there is a time and a place to stand around and figure out what came first, the chicken or the egg, and then there is a time to pick up a hammer and pound the heck out of some nails. This post is more about the latter.
Ironically, searching for serenity has always been one of the very things that I needed to accept that I could not change. From a young age I came to realize that my emotions were guests at a party that had gotten a little out of control. When I am happy, every single feeling of joy comes out to celebrate. When I am sad, the invite goes viral, until it’s wall to wall devastation. I have also learned from my teenage years that while you might be able to sneak a boy over and hide him under the bed if your parents come home early, there is no way to conceal a get together that has morphed into a public disturbance.
When your emotions swirl around you in masses, you don’t do very well in poker. Still, you play the hand you’ve been dealt and there are worse things than hanging out with a crowd of emotions…as long as you steer clear of anger. People who fly into a rage, always make a bad landing and anger in large quantities guarantees a crash.
You should always be careful before you give a person a piece of your mind, that you can get by with what is left, and for a person who is known for their excesses, truer advice has never been spoken. So I learned to take a moment, the next time I wrestled with wrath, to peer into the face of the mob. I discovered that anger was usually just exhaustion, or fear or shame in disguise and that the target was often wearing a mask of their own. By recognizing our similarities I was able to change course and focus on solutions or at the very least create distance from explosive situations.
That is not to say that there have not been hiccups, but overall I have managed to control my anger, not by keeping it on a leash, but by making sure not to own wild animals with very sharp teeth.
Unfortunately sometime while I was unconscious during my surgery, the invite went out. Fury festival in the CracTpot psyche. Bring your own profanity; torches and pitchforks will be provided at the door.
So here I am, passing out napkins and asking raging revellers to use coasters, frantically keeping an eye on the clock, wondering how long everyone plans on staying.
When I took to the internet in search of answers, I came across a support group website that validated my feelings and offered suggestions from other patients that had experienced similar symptoms. One recommended cutting out caffeine, sugar and chocolate. Now I understand that we don’t negotiate with terrorists but on the same token when faced with a pack of rabid growling dogs, I’m not sure it’s in anyone’s best interest to take away their bones. Still, the threat of losing all of our favourite things smartened up the masses to a dull roar, “look, we’re fine, really, now give us back our extra large coffee and step away from the Easter candy and no one has to get hurt.”
Luckily my recovery calls for lots of rest in order to heal which is helpful because I am unable to bite anyone’s head off while I’m sleeping. When I’m awake I’m trying to keep my responses to head nods and whimpers because the correct answer to “can I get you anything?” is not a profanity laced war cry demanding their head on a stake so you can dance around naked watching it burn. Somewhere there is a voice in my head telling me that’s crazy, but I can barely hear it over the tantruming troops so I’ll just sit here quietly resting and healing until I’m strong enough to get everyone under control. It’s a win-win for everyone I think. It’s not nice to bite the support system that feeds you.
So as much as I’d like to end this whole thing with an uplifting feel good message any thing I tried writing just looked like a conjugation lesson on the f-word so I’m going to call it a mental health day and crawl back into bed. Instead, I will leave you all with this genius Easter Bunny Hack from Buzzfeed
and another famous word of advice “if you can’t beat em, join em”
at least until you’re strong enough to start building your boat.
Take life with a grain of salt, a slice of lime, and a shot of tequila~Author Unknown