What it feels like…to find comfort in an old coat.

By Maggie Jordan, Amsterdam.

6 years ago in a time of major uncertainty, disillusionment, fear and stress when my whole life seemed to be running on worry. I’d just moved from Glasgow to Amsterdam, I was under a lot of pressure in every department; personally and professionally.

I seemed to be overwhelmed by forces beyond my control, my brain was whirring, non-stop, I was anxious, twitchy and just couldn’t relax.

I decided to head out for a walk. I just needed to walk it out if that makes sense? Fresh air and a bit of exercise always make me feel better.

It was wild weather, very wet and blowing a gale, I picked up a waterproof coat from the hall, I don’ know who it belonged to ( it wasn’t mine ) and headed out.

In the raincoat pocket along with a tiny little tin of Vaseline and an old cotton hanky with a monogrammed ‘M’ was a card – with the words to the serenity prayer.

I had never even heard of the serenity prayer. I don’t know who it belonged to or where it came from but what I read on that little card, since then my life has never been the same.

It sounds dramatic but it felt like an epiphany. All of a sudden I knew everything was going to be ok and I’ve carried this positivity round in my head. When I’m stressed or anxious I say i over and over until I feel better.

There’s not a day goes by when I don’t recite the words. Ever since that day I found the crumpled card in my old coat pocket, I have lived by this prayer. I’m not overtly into religion, I’d say I’m more spiritual – your God of your choosing can be whatever works for you.

Friends and colleagues noticed my inner calm ask the secret to my serenity; my ability to ride the storm, to not be engulfed by fear or worry. I don’t know what the answer is but I send them a copy of the serenity prayer by email to see if that helps. The feedback from friends proves that it does in fact help.

To me this little prayer is the very essence of spirituality. It keeps me right and I know it’s helped me and many of my friends. It might help you. If it does, pay it forward.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the thing I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference…