“Help me accept that which I cannot change”
This is part of the serenity prayer that is fairly commonly shared on social media – this idea that we have to accept those things in our lives that we have no control over and so cannot let ourselves stress over it. Whilst I agree with the sentiment of this statement, I hear it all too often from people who assure me that they don’t feel guilt: they will tell me how there is no point feeling guilty because it’s out of my control, so what’s the point of worrying? I would love that we can stop an emotion just because it doesn’t make rational sense, but unfortunately that is not how this works! Just because something is outside of your control doesn’t mean you can switch off the emotions such as guilt (what bigger guilt trip is there that there is nothing we can do?)
I prefer this rewrite – “help me understand how to change my response to that which I can’t control” – because that keeps the ball in your court. There are some things that are going to happen and that you cannot change no matter how much you want to and that you have to accept. But you ALWAYS control your response to them and that is how you show up and become your best self.