Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm. – Anonymous
Serenity…. What does it mean? What does it look like within the context of our lives? Dictionary.com defines serenity as: “the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness. Additionally, Dictionary.com defines serene as: “1. calm, peaceful, or tranquil; unruffled: a serene landscape;serene old age. 2. clear; fair: serene weather. Therefore, serenity means a state of calmness and peace.
Many people yearn for serenity in their lives – some people even strive to create it in some form. I have seen some individuals lie to themselves and others because they wanted to believe they were leading a life of serenity, even when this was not the case. My question is, “How do we find serenity when our lives are lived in the midst of the complex, chaotic society that is our modern world?”
Is it possible for us to manifest serenity while congruently worrying about life in our fast paced world? Are we able to pause for moments of quiet gratitude, thankfulness and peace even as the world whirls around us? It seems completely incongruous that an individual would be able to be serene and stressed, peaceful and busy all at the same time. Reinhold Niebuhr believes that we can find a solution. He says, “The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it.” Are we able to handle this? How do we rise above it.
Grenville Kleiser has an idea of how to achieve serenity in the midst of our crazy world, and I tend to agree, “Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.”
I think that another route to serenity is by easing up on ourselves – we need to give ourselves a break. We are allowed to fail, allowed to make mistakes, allowed to take time out of the rat race for ourselves and our families. In fact, as we allow ourselves to make mistakes, we learn and grow. If we view mistakes as opportunities for growth they are less scary. If we take time out of the rat race in order to rest and find that peace and serenity, we are more productive in the long run. Counterintuitive, but true.
Today, 315 days ’til 40, I will remind myself that through humor and giving myself permission to be human, I can find myself closer to serenity. We all deserve serene moments in our lives. I will focus on finding the time to take a breather in order to find that peace and restore my sanity. I hope you do too.