Posts Tagged ‘helpless’


Recent events have me pondering … journaling … rather than recording my thoughts in a public forum. As you are well aware, there are times in our lives when we have to take certain events and look at them from every angle, trying to get them in some comfortable spot so we can live with them, especially since there’s nothing we can do to change them. And aye, there’s the rub.

I am not good at helpless. I am particularly not good at helpless watching another – in this case, an animal – who is suffering, and for whom I can do nothing. There are times when we really have to come to grips with whatever it is and accept our own limitations in action regardless of how our hearts are reaching out. In all the years I have been involved with animals, rescuing and healing them, and, depending on the circumstances, finding them homes, those situations that have been the most painful have been those where I could do nothing.

I have been told many times along the way that it was not/is not my responsibility to save everyone .. or every animal … that each of them, like each of us, is on his or her own journey, and I can only do as much as I can do. Whatever the issue is, and it may be different for many of us – animals, children, the elderly, loved ones, those persecuted unjustly for any reason, anyone suffering – if we have a heart, we want to do something … make it better.

But sometimes the change has to be within ourselves. To accept our limitations and to understand that our inability to alter one circumstance does not mean we are failing … it only means that sometimes, despite our desire, it is not ours to change.

So I have found myself thinking a lot of the Serenity Prayer, written by twentieth century American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr. As short as it is, it is brilliant and to the point. I’m sure you are familiar with it.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I believe that sometimes we need to accept that just being who we are is enough. And that sometimes, achieving that may be a lifelong lesson given to us again and again until we finally know it to be true.

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