Continued from page 1
Admitting powerlessness in a situation does not remove responsibility. For instance, alcoholic who admits powerlessness over alcohol is still responsible for effects of his/her disease on everyone around them, as well as for their recovery today and in future. This is covered beautifully in steps 2-12 of 12 Steps.
There's a second catch though... a good one. There's tremendous freedom in a genuine admission of powerlessness. It's as though heavy chains you've been locked into place with, fall to floor. It's like taking your first big breath of fresh air after nearly suffocating. The weight of a burden is cast away and a different approach has its beginning.
Figuring out what you have influence over and what you do not can be a challenge. If you were to take a sheet of paper and create two columns, one with heading "Can Influence" and other with "Powerless Over," this will assist you in process of determining what areas of your life go where. This will make this process simpler. There will be some areas you'll have to discern over. They will not conform easily to one side or other, and there may be components of a problem which you can influence and other parts you cannot control.
Let's take an in-law problem, for example. This one would likely belong in both columns. You may not be able to control what your in-law does (area for acceptance), but, at same time, you can set boundaries as well as decide what kinds of thoughts and behaviors you will display when this person is around you.
I'll leave you with another very popular tool to help you with achieving peace and joy in your life. We know it as The Serenity Prayer. It was originally spoken in a presentation given in 1932 by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr. It was ending to a much longer prayer. Here is how we know it today:
THE SERENITY PRAYER
Grant me SERENITY To ACCEPT things I cannot change... COURAGE to change things I can... and WISDOM to know difference.
Take necessary steps today to unburden yourself of just one area of your life that you are powerless over. You can do it. You will discover a new freedom by taking this unique action today.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW is an author, university faculty member, success coach and veteran psychotherapist whose passion is guiding others to their own success in life. For weekly doses of the webs HOTTEST success tips, sign up for Dave’s powerful “Feeling Great!” ezine at http://www.Overcoming-Depression.com \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\