I’m not a material girl, BUT when I am stressed or depressed, I tend to look for temporary solace in the mall. Unfortunately, wanting things to be different or wanting more stuff is the opposite of being content with what I do have. Here’s my recipe for taming my inner shopaholic and finding a spa-like serenity in my own home.

The Serenity Prayer is one of my favorite recovery tools. It explains that acceptance brings serenity. When I don’t have serenity, it’s almost always because I refuse to accept life on life’s terms. I often WANT things to be different than they are.

What Does “I Want” Mean To Me?

  • I desire something I don’t have.
  • I am lacking something I need.
  • Needing this something may have put me in a state of destitution or poverty.
  • This one missing thing may be necessary for my completeness.

Grammatically, this verb is present tense, but it delivers a future sense of satisfaction. My happiness or even wholeness is dependent and waiting on this one elusive item. I want is restless and anxious.

What Does “I Have” Mean To Me?

  • I own something, tangible property or an asset.
  • I’m part of something – a family, a team, an organization. I am in a kindred or relative position.
  • I’ve experienced or endured emotions like joy or pain.
  • I’m responsible for or to something. I have a dog, or my cat has me.

Have is “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” (Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer)

What Do I Really Want?

  • Another bag of white chocolate candies.
  • The pretty rich dark chocolate hair I had in my twenties.
  • Fresh, radiant, and wrinkle-free skin.
  • My sister-in-law to still be alive.
  • My broken family to be put back together.
  • More money in my bank account.
  • A full night’s sleep.

Just reading that list makes me anxious. My sister has passed; my family is broken. Wanting that to be different is a fruitless and sleepless struggle. Being up at night leads to late night infomercial watching, which leads to more wants. Not only do I want fresh, radiant skin, but I want the same rare melon serum Cindy Crawford uses on her skin, so I can have her perfect complexion and her implied perfect life.

What Do I Really Have And What Can I Do With What I Have?

  • Laugh lines and sun spots from many happy days at the beach.
  • Silver gray hairs from loving a busy little boy.
  • Amazing friends who stick closer than family.
  • A big vat of coconut oil I bought at the health food store.
  • A wide selection of essential oils because I can’t say “No.”

It’s time to accept that God didn’t want me to be Cindy Crawford. My sister is gone, and most families are broken. My ruddy Native American/Irish skin will never be camera ready, and codependent Pam has already spent her lifetime’s allowance on late night impulse buys. I can, however, make my own affordable beauty treatment.

Recipe For Serenity Sugar Scrub

  • 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 10-15 Drops of essential oils (optional)

Pour ingredients into a small air-tight container. A bowl with a lid or a mason a jar works great. Mix until combined. I used a fork because anxious Pam needs simple steps and simple tools.

Since I bought the sampler kit of oils, I added a blend of Lemon, Lavender, Frankincense, and Lime. Lemon is known for its skin brightening properties, while Lavender is very calming. Frankincense shows great promise in cell renewal.

This sugar scrub may not be life changing like comparable products featured on late night infomercials, but taking the time to care for my skin and myself is far more restorative than anything else on the market.

coloring book purple pic

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Pam Carver

Pam is the author of two books: Co-dependent In The Kitchen, and Find Your True Colors In 12 Steps. She's also a contributing editor for Reach Out Recovery. She's a recovery advocate who likes long walks on the beach and chocolate.

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