Endigar 785

From Courage to Change of February 21;

Thanks to Al-Anon’s Traditions, I am able to have a Sponsor whose politics are abhorrent to me. Although we totally disagree on other issues, this person has helped me learn valuable lessons about serenity, courage, and wisdom. If I had insisted on a Sponsor with political views exactly like my own, I would have missed out on an extraordinarily rich and beneficial relationship.

I think that the spirit of the Tenth Tradition has  made this possible. It states that “The Al-Anon Family Groups have no opinion on outside issues; hence our name ought never be drawn into public controversy.” At the group level, this means that I can go to a meeting and know that I won’t be recruited for any particular cause. As a group, we have a single purpose — to support one another as we recover from the effects of alcoholism. But on a personal level,  this Tradition allows me to establish a valuable relationship with a person who, under less supportive conditions, I might have been hard pressed to treat with civility.

Today’s Reminder

Today I can  be more tolerant  of other views  as I learn to take what I like and leave  the rest. I don’t have  to let outside issues distract me from  my primary spiritual goal. I’ll keep the doors open, for I never  know  where I might find help.

“Within the fellowship, the one thing that has brought us together must remain our sole concern.” ~ Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions

END OF QUOTE—————————————

Al-Anon has “no opinion on outside issues; hence the” Al-Anon “name ought never be drawn into public controversy.” This is the Tenth Tradition of Al-Anon, taken from AA and used for similar purpose in Al-Anon. It is there to provide protection for the group and focus for its individual members. The purpose is not the life and death struggle of the alcoholic or addict. Instead, as a member of Al-Anon, mine is a struggle for sanity. I need a safe place to recover. This is my focus when I come into the rooms and reach out.

Alcoholism/Addiction is like a deadly vine that wraps around poles, markers in my heart. The poles may be legitimate expression of love. The vines creep and grow and engulf that marker and it becomes too difficult for me to discern between the poisonous plant and the affirmation of devotion to my afflicted family member or close friend.

If I am to live a life where it is safe to love again, I cannot be distracted by “outside issues” or become burdened with “public controversy.” If I am to build a new life and a new freedom, I need others with similar focus. There is hard fought wisdom in the Tenth Tradition. Outside issues are anything other than my efforts at cleaning my side of the street. It is the only place I can exercise real power. And that is the source of my strength in the face of tragedy and chaos. The arena of public controversy seeds resentment and distrust in my life. I embrace the Tenth Tradition to clean away the wreckage of my inner life, and to share that power with others.


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