I want you take a look at this popular prayer that has been quoted often: “Lord, grant me the courage to change what I can change; the serenity to accept what I cannot change; and the wisdom to know the difference.”
The “serenity to accept what I cannot change” is relevant to many of life’s issues and wounds we experience. There is no way we can control or force another person to make right, healthy choices. We can only do our best, then hope for the best.
As a parent of three growing kids myself, I realize that all I can do is to “influence” them by being a model, being an available consultant and friend, and developing effective “therapeutic” connection with them. After all, what can I do? It’s impossible to supervise children all the time. So I just give up! As I see it, I can only accept the fact that ultimately I have no power to prevent certain choices or behaviors that they have, especially if they’re bent on doing them.
The same principle applies to the rest of life in general. In the long run, after giving our all, our best efforts might not be good enough. Ultimately we, too, may then ask, “Lord, grant me … the serenity to accept what I cannot change.”