Writing Group Topic: Wisdom to know the difference

The wisdom to know the difference… between the things I can do something about, and those I can’t. It occurs to me that this is about things that are wrong in my life – not necessarily about things that I just want to change because I fancy a change. In other words, what I have been struggling with almost all my life has been the desire to change, to reinvent myself, to get away, to be someone else or live someplace else. In a way, my challenge is to learn how not to change.

What I mean is that right now I have a wonderful job; I live in a wonderful place; I have great people around me. I am comfortable in every way, and there is nothing outside of myself that I need to apply the Serenity Prayer to at the moment (well… I can’t change my co-worker Coral, so I am working daily to accept her ways). My problem is the internal restlessness. What am I running away from? The answer to that is, sadly, nothing at all: it’s a habit more than anything, an ingrained way of thinking. I’m not even trying to run away from myself, as popular psychology would sometimes have it… I am happy with myself, I like myself, I don’t see anything radical that needs changing and if I did, I would happily change it.

So, in a way, the restlessness probably falls into the “things I can change”: God, give me the wisdom to know if this is the truth. I believe it is. Not necessarily that I can change my own thought patterns, but that I can pray for a change of heart to be given to me. The fact is, there are almost two opposed sides within me, one that loves this place and wants to stay, and another that loves this place and still wants to go – where? To the greener grass on the other side, wherever that may be. Perhaps I have become too used to being “new”: exploring the new place, establishing new friendships, the upheaval of it all (although I don’t even like that!). Or, as I said, there may be no good reason for it at all but simply a habit of thought that I grew up with from the time of my mother’s death when I began to live in the future – in which I would get away.

It’s commitment-phobia, of course. I don’t like to commit, to be bound to something or someplace or someone. No wonder I’m single, heh. This – singleness – falls firmly under “accept the things I cannot change” because I absolutely refuse to “hunt”… but my avoidance of commitment of the kind I can’t get out of (if there’s a back door, I have no problem committing), is something I can and ought to change.


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