Do What You Can Control

Grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Sometimes the only way to accept that which we cannot control, is to take action with the things we can.

Today, on what is my son’s 11th day home from school and amidst the news of more deaths and more lost jobs, I felt the anxiety hit. I’m surprised I made it this far without feeling overwhelmed, and I take that as evidence practicing meditation the past five years is truly helping me get through.  Because, despite the fact that today I felt overwhelmed at the prospect of homeschooling my second grader with ADHD for an unknown amount of time while caring for a two-month-old baby and generating no income, plus the possibility of being infected with a deadly disease looming over our heads, the anxiety did not break me.

Instead, I allowed myself to feel it. I allowed myself to cry until I was done. Then, I took a few deep breaths and washed the dishes. 

I cannot control what’s happening outside our doors today, but I can wash the dishes. And I can breathe. 

So, when you’re struggling with how to accept the things you cannot change, shift your focus. Find the tasks you can control and take action. Even if all you can do is breathe, focus on that. Focus on what you can control until your mind has accepted what you can’t.

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