Peace On Earth

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~ Thomas Edison

We celebrate Peace on Earth, but forget to practice it. We want happy gatherings, but choose to bring our old angry baggage. Long ago, I picked up the phone for support and understanding as I was heading out to be with my family (at a distance; for the holidays). The AA on the other end gave me a great life lesson: She told me that I had freedom and choice. I was shocked. I thought invitations were command performances. I thought it was required that I spend all of my free time and vacation days on traveling, cooking, gifting, spending, decorating, and being around family. She told me that I had a choice. And, even after I made the choice to attend, I had all sorts of choices beyond that: what to pack, what to wear, who to talk to, what to talk about, what to eat, where to sleep, whether to participate in gossip or not, how long to stay, and when to leave. I had choices! That in itself, is the freedom.

She set me free that day. That visit was the beginning of having holidays with my family that for the first time were peaceful for me. I started seeing my mom as another human being and an equal to me. I started seeing that the stress and anxiety that I had felt were from within and from having an expectation that my family would ever be perfect, functional, and happy. I had 10 more years of visits with my mom that were happy and peaceful. I got to know her on a personal level. She passed away some 3 years ago. I am glad that the 12 Step program gave me that 10 years to enjoy her and to make peace with her and myself. Remember that when we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Set your plans, follow through. Enjoy your own peace on earth. You deserve it.

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