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.
In an experiment, monkeys were implanted a signal directly into their neural pleasure center. They could activate their bliss zone simply by hitting a button. What do you think happened? They pushed the button over and over. They forgot about mating, forgot about attending to their young. They even stopped eating and hammered that button until they died.
The world is here to lead us Home. Pleasure is part of the Way, and so is pain. If you push your pleasure button at the neglect of what needs to be done you have deviated from the Way. If you hit it because you want to escape from what doesn't feel so good, you also have missed the Way. Life is really not that hard to figure out. There is always a golden middle along the Way. We are not helpless monkeys being tortured by scientists, we are part of God and we claim our right to be Home. This is my spin on the Serenity Prayer:
I do not accept what 'appears to be' but always welcome 'what is'.
I won't do the stuff that is spiritually wrong just because it somehow feels right.
I am happy to endure what may not feel so good if it is something my soul needs.
Every step of the Way, in pleasure and pain, I am already Home.