ACT and The Serenity Prayer


Q:  How do I make difficult decisions?

A:  Turn to The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer has played an important part in my life.  It seems to seek me out when I most need it.   Many years ago I discovered it had pride of place in Twelve Step Programmes.   Years later when I stumbled upon ACT I found it was once more at the heart of things.

In fact it was the prominence given to The Serenity Prayer in ACT that made we feel completely at home there.  When things get tough, when difficult choices need to be made, turning to The Serenity Prayer never disappoints.

I wrote “CHOICES” to remind me of that.


  • Does The Serenity Prayer play a part in your life?
  • Has it helped you to make difficult decisions?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.






Accepting things we cannot change, changing the things we can,

Well these words could be a blueprint for the life of any man,

For if we are at a crossroads and we’re feeling all confused

They will clarify our choices ‘til we’re feeling less bemused.

They speak to us through the ages from a mind of yesteryear,

If we listen in the stilling then these words are ours to hear,

They will seep into our psyche and once learned they’re always there,

So when we are faced with choices we can say them like a prayer.

“Oh God grant me the Serenity,” we pray with all our might,

“To accept the things I cannot change, the things I cannot fight,

And afford me Lord the courage Lord to change the things I can,”

Yes these words could be the blueprint for the life of any man.

And that leaves just one line missing, the most notable of all,

It’s the one that asks for wisdom, so when choices come to call

We can listen in the stilling as life starts to re-arrange,

And we will know which things we should accept, and which things we should change.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “CHOICES” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

If you want to read more about how The Serenity Prayer fits into ACT there is a great article on the ACBS website entitled, “New Harbinger’s interview with Steve Hayes.”  In the interview Steve Hayes discusses his book “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life.”

Product Details

During the interview he explains some of the principal tenets of ACT, how for example,

“Accepting your pain is a step toward ridding yourself of  your suffering” … and that

“ACT is based on the idea that psychological suffering is usually caused by running away from difficult private experiences, by becoming entangled in your own thoughts, and as a result of all of that failing to get your feet moving in accord with your chosen core values.”  … and that

“ACT has an agenda sort of like that Serenity Prayer from AA:  accept what you can’t change, change what you can.  In the prayer, clients ask for the wisdom to know the difference – ACT theory specifies that difference.”

It’s a great article.  I am a great fan of The Serenity Prayer, I am a great fan of ACT.  To me ACT is, in a sense, The Serenity Prayer plus values.  It works for me!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….


How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes


Published by

Corinne Shields

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, erstwhile teacher for thirty plus years, and permanent student. I have long been interested in psychology and spirituality and enjoy writing inspirational poetry. Hence the publication of this blog at ACT Made I play golf badly, piano a little better and I love reading, writing, and all things French. I divide my time between Wales and France and enjoy travelling with my husband, Len and my dog Charlie.

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