Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: My question for Deepak, whom I am very thankful for in my quest for a closer connection to God, is: How can I deal emotionally with having adult children who are drug dependent? I have gone to Al-Anon for years and read all the daily readings, but when my child is using or his life is in chaos, like losing their houses or jobs or not being good parents, I don't know how to keep it from occupying my mind 24/7, and an overall feeling of doom surrounds me. I can do it with other people in my family, but not with my own children. I cannot find any literature that addresses this from a spiritual standpoint. I think this is one of the most common feelings of unhappiness that parents feel, because drug addiction is so prevalent in our society. When you go to sites that show you how to deal with not being at peace inside, they mention every aspect of you not finding fulfillment in daily life except this one. How can I as a parent let go of the pain and anxious feelings I feel? Please address this issue if you can. Thank you.
— Jeanette K., Carlton, Minnesota
I'd like to answer your question specifically. It would take hours and days to go into detail about parent-child relationships, but you are asking about guilt, anxiety and the frustration of not being able to help. In spiritual terms, this is an issue about attachment. Attachment makes you feel obsessed about your children's lives. It makes their pain feel like yours. You all but lose the boundary between you and them.
You can get beyond such attachments through a process that involves the following steps:
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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Published on March 17, 2010