Tuesday, March 20, 2012

INNER PEACE, INNER PEACE---AND SHUT UP, ALREADY!

One of my favorite movies is the first Kung Fu Panda. I like the story, the animation, the beautiful art direction and score, the message, and the laughs. I identify with Po's eating problem, but most of all I identify with Master Shifu (voice by Dustin Hoffman). In one scene, after being given the  seemingly impossible task of turning a big, fat Panda whose only skills appear to be making food and eating it into the dragon warrior, Shifu is in the temple, attempting to meditate to clear his troubled mind and regain his center and serenity. "Inner peace," he chants, "inner peace, in-in-in . . . inner peace---  Would whoever is making that slapping sound quiet down!"

Step Eleven says, "We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious with God, as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out."

The meditation part of Step Eleven, is every bit as important to our recovery as is prayer. The serene have no excuses, no reasons, to go and use. Inner peace. Inner peace.

Serenity, eh? So what do we do about all the drug substitution, quack rehab, guaranteed addiction cures, and self-appointed do-it-yourself sobriety gurus making money and gaining notoriety at the expense of many active addicts and alcoholics whose first efforts at recovery become misdirected by unprincipled charlatans and the well-meaning but ignorant?

Addicts die. Nothing anyone can do about that. Addicts who honestly want help know where to get it: the halls of NA, AA, other Twelve Step programs, and treatment centers based on the Twelve Steps. Addicts who look for that easier, softer way will often fall prey to the willpower illusionists and to those selling "cures." 

It sounds cold, but the program of recovery isn't for those who need it; it's for those who want it. As recovering addicts, our job isn't to engage in controversy, publicly arguing down those who hold differing views. Our job is to get into recovery, stay there, get on with our lives, and by our example carry the message of recovery to the still suffering addict.

And those commercials promising a guaranteed cure for addiction ("not based on any Twelve Step program"), when they come on the air?  "Inner peace, inner peace, in-in-in . . . inner peace---Would whoever has the remote please change the damned station?"

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