Talking to my mom is like reading a chapter of the Big Book (the 12-step Bible). I vented to her yesterday about a spat I had with an in-law. All I wanted her to say was, “You are right. On all counts, you are absolutely right.” Instead she fed me a line from her 12-step literature: “No person, place, thing, or circumstance can take away your serenity.”
Puh-lease. Did the author of these words mistake some addicts and their kin with a band of Buddhist monks ready to slip into the sandals of the Dalai Lama? I know that there are advanced souls out there who have mastered this spiritual law. But as an eternal beginner in recovery, I direct my energy toward maxims that speak more to my infant state. Like, for example, “You don’t have to like them. You just have to love them.” If I stick to loving family members even when I don’t want to, maybe after awhile hurtful quarrels won’t disrupt my inner peace. But I seriously doubt it.