Keeping it Simple

What do a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on a hot summer day, chicken noodle soup when you have a cold, and being wrapped up in a hug after a heartbreak all have in common?  

Comfort.

Even the word ‘comfort’ sounds comforting, doesn’t it?  It makes me think of things like a grilled cheese sandwich, a cozy blanket, music, snow falling, sunsets, and words.  Today was one of those days when I found myself holding onto feelings that were causing stress and I was seeking comfort.  I was disheartened by someone else’s unkindness.  I kept playing the situation over and over in my head as if the unkindness could be undone…as if life is fair.  

Resentment and the challenge of letting it go is something that comes up a lot in therapy.  I’ve shared with clients that my favorite definition of resentment is drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.  Well, I was the one drinking poison today and it tasted as awful as it ever does.  And then I remembered The Serenity Prayer, the simplest and wisest of antidotes to that which is out of our control:

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.

Anytime I feel myself about to take another swig from the poison cup, I press the ‘play’ button on these words.  They are a strong salve and true comfort.  Put them in your medicine cabinet and apply liberally.