God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
So far I’ve seen fulfillment described as aligning your actions with your values (Ezeanu). Whereas Berns talks about fulfillment as stemming from new experiences. One thing that I’ve been pondering lately is the role of acceptance in this process, which is why I began this post with the “Serenity Prayer” from Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. The main premise of this prayer of course is that acceptance means dealing with the reality of your situation, in which acceptance comes from differentiating between what is possible to change and what is not.
This is especially important to me at this moment because I have gone under several transition processes: from student to scholar, from long-term relationship to new relationship, from socially confident person to anxious and insecure person. These transitions have helped me to learn and grow. What it has uncovered the most, though, is that I am needing to really embrace the premise of the “Serenity Prayer” and learn to integrate it into my life. I have always struggled with acceptance, but have come to really fear and resist accepting my reality. I am not sure if it is because it is so painful. Or if it is because I have developed habits that keep me from seeing the situation for what it is.
I am not sure if values are the foundation for acceptance, or if acceptance is the foundation for values. However, as I continue to think through their relationship, I hope to better embrace the “Serenity Prayer” in the hopes that it helps me quiet my anxious mind.
I want to start this blog with a journey that I must begin if I am going to be a happy and healthy person: finding fulfillment. Growing up in a dry alcoholic home with emotionally distant adults, fulfillment is not something that I’m familiar with. I was exposed to loads of values and beliefs, but I cannot recall how those manifested through actions, in spite of a working class work ethic.
Naturally I was intrigued when I ran across an online article title The Short Guide to Finding Fulfillment over at Pick the Brain. According to Ezeanu, a short guide involves four steps, beginning with identifying fulfillment as a psychological state in which you recognize something you to as being meaningful to you; once you do this, you can learn to strike a balance in your life to align your values with your actions.
Ezeanu suggests asking yourself “what is important to me?” as a way to uncover your values so that you can find fulfillment. It’s no surprise that a google search for finding fulfillment leads to a plethora of Christian-related sites. Religion has long provided a host of values for folks to follow, as well as guidelines to find that fulfillment. Crickey, no wonder so many people seek solstice in this!
But how do you find this outside of religion? Why I’m persuaded by Ezeanu’s guide is that it can lead to a host of values outside of dogma. So, what is important to me? I’m going to answer this question over the course of time in order to get deeper and reflect on it more.
Today, I’ll answer with the following:
* a sense of family or community or tribe
* a space to create and explore the simplest things with the eye of an artist, whether that be a painter or a writer
* a sense of confidence that I can be a happy person and find fulfillment as I continue to grow as a person
I think that these aspects are very important to me and have been since I was a lass. While it is easy for me to begin to barate myself about why I haven’t been chasing these things all along if they have always been a part of my being, but I will instead say that as I continue to reflect on who I am and what I desire, I think these things will emerge as valuable to my development of values.
Steps to fulfillment:
Step 1: Understand what fulfillment is
Step 2: Know your values
Step 3: Create your strategy
Step 4: Fill in the gaps