“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.”

Many of us probably memorized that prayer before kindergarten. But have we truly lived it since then? I’m not too sure. It seems that today’s society places too much focus on what can’t be changed instead of what’s doable.

Below is an overview of some of the things that we can’t change. Read it and think about it.

1. We cannot change the fact that we’re struggling. Most of us were not born with a silver spoon in our mouths, so we’re going to have to struggle to get ahead. With the factors of race, gender, social class, economics, and education influencing the way our lives turn out, we need to work twice as hard to get going. Get used of it.

2. We cannot change the fact that people don’t change. In a perfect world, people who do us wrong would see our pain, suddenly have an epiphany and immediately change the error of their ways. But that world doesn’t exist. Men who cheat will always cheat, peers who look down at us will always look down at us, and family members who borrow money and never return it will always borrow money and never return it.

3. We cannot change our stereotypes. Even in the age of Obama, there are some people out there who truly believe that all of us Black woman are loud, ghetto, promiscuous, and confrontational. Because of those beliefs, they will have preconceived ideas about who we are. Those people are everywhere. We can find them on the subway, on the checkout counter, or they might even be on the questioning end of a job interview. Sometimes we may never know who they truly are.

4. We cannot change the fact that there will always be someone better. There will always be a woman who will be smarter, who will look better, who will be more liked, who will be more talented and who will accomplish things easier. Unfortunately, that person might make our lives more difficult. Despite our efforts she will always be a part of our lives.

Reflect on what you just read. Did it remind you of any people or situations?

1. We can control the outcome of our children’s lives. I know that a lot of us aren’t really thinking about raising children now, but every decision that we make today will impact their futures. As Black women, we have so many things going against us that it sometimes feels hopeless to make positive changes. But every choice we make today can and will make our future children’s lives easier. Whether we choose to further our education or not, whether we choose to go overboard with our credit card or not, or whether we choose to stay in that abusive relationship or not, everything will make our children’s lives more or less difficult.

2. We can control who we allow in our lives. Our well-being depends on the people who surround us. If we constantly hang around people who contribute to our pain, our lives will always be full of negativity. To an extent, we can also control the way people treat us. If we continue to give second, third and fourth chances, eventually those chances become a habit that leads to a lifetime of regret.

3. We can control a person’s experience with us. The way we present ourselves goes a long way, and if we choose to carry ourselves with style, class, and grace, we will be known as people of style, class, and grace. Sometimes we have to bite our tongues and control our pride to shock those who expect the worst of us. More importantly, we have to be supportive of our each other. We are only as good as our weakest link.

4. We can control how amazing we are. We can educate ourselves to be the most intelligent person anyone has ever met by always having something insightful to say. We can discover what highlights our best physical features, and we can maintain ourselves physically to turn heads. We can treat others with kindness and sincerity so that they can always think of us in a positive way. We can reach our goals gradually with a realistic and well-planned approach. And we can take life one day at a time so that no matter how difficult things are, there’s always tomorrow to make it better. Even if it’s just a little bit.

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