“I have learned to be content regardless of circumstance. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. I can do all things through God which strengthens me.”
Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:
- Apostle Paul’s sharing of his ups and downs invites us to find our own balance, or equanimity, and discover contentment with our lives.
- Equanimity is spiritual mastery of energy and effort. It’s defined as steadiness, composure, and calm, no matter our circumstances. It’s sometimes described as being non-attached, non-controlling, and non-reactive.
- Equanimity reinforces our courage so we trust in God as our ever-abiding Source and Strength. When we need to wait, it supports serenity and patience. When we face the extremes of great joys and sorrows, equanimity grounds us. When our ego threatens to take charge, it gently supports us in heeding our intuition, our still, small voice, to discern how we’ll respond to whatever is occurring.
- With equanimity, we remain even-tempered and centered, especially when we feel so passionate about something that we think our emotions could consume us. And we don’t rush to resolution or languish in doubt. Instead, we surrender to divine order. We trust without being attached to our own way.
- All spiritual masters, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc., know the power of equanimity. They find contentment not because everything happens the way they want, but because they trust in divine outcome. As the Bhagavad Gita teaches in Chapter 6, “One who is unattached to the fruits of their work and who works as they are obligated is . . . the true mystic . . . . Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. They see everything— whether it be pebbles, stones or gold—as the same.”
As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:
- In what ways do I feel discontent and out of balance?
- Without analysis or judgment, list, word map, or illustrate all your feelings.
- What great emotions could consume me, if I allow it?
- Without analysis or judgment, list, word map, or illustrate whatever could consume you and throw you off balance.
- When I contemplate any situations which are troubling for me, how am I reacting, especially to things I cannot control?
- Without analysis or judgment, list, word map, or illustrate how you’re reacting.
- When I reflect on my reactions, what can I truly control?
- List, word map, or illustrate as much as applies.
- What is my intuition—not my intelligence—telling me to do?
- List, word map, or illustrate everything you’re discerning.
- What are at least three (3) ways I can act—rather than react—as I trust divine order to unfold in my life?
- List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.
As you use this devotional, know that equanimity can be found moment by moment, often by pausing and breathing deeply. Imagine it like putting a car in neutral. This way you can rely on your intuition and spiritual strength, rather than outer force, to discern your responses.
Affirmations also can encourage you to remain calm and steady. Here are some to try:
“It takes as long as it takes.”
“This too shall pass.”
“This is what’s happening now.”
“All is unfolding for the best.”
“Divine order is at hand.”
“I trust the grace and goodness of God.”
Also, when you’re ready to surrender and trust, pray the Serenity Prayer, and affirm its beloved words of equanimity:
“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.”
© 2022 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.
Photo from Shutterstock by Rudmer Zwerver.