Kudos to CBS for airing Sunday night the Hallmark Hall of Fame special, “When Love is Not Enough,” the story of Lois Wilson, cofounder of Al-Anon Family Groups and the wife of Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson. The film, based on the book “The Lois Wilson Story” starred Winona Ryder.
True to the melodramatic formula of Hallmark made for TV films, “When Love is Not Enough” never the less confronts honestly the bitter and often brutal struggle borne by family and loved ones of those struggling with addictions.
The film also presents openly the unmistakable spiritual/faith roots of AA and Al-Anon. Bill Wilson’s own recovery, and the principles he outlines in his “12 Steps” acknowledges a complete dependence of God, prayer, and miraculous intervention for deliverance.
At the end of the story, a flash forward to 1951, 20 years after the founding of AA, Lois Wilson and a group of women stand around her kitchen table, hold hands and pray aloud “The Serenity Prayer” penned by Reinhold Niebuhr and incorporated into the AA recovery process.
Here’s that prayer in full. For all those struggling with drug and alcohol addictions, and for their loved ones and families we join together in this prayer, today…
The Serenity Prayer
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.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.