12 Steps & 12 Traditions

Old 01-17-2010, 01:22 PM
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12 Steps & 12 Traditions

I attended an Al Anon meeting recently, and our topic was Tradition One. I know that many of the people who come to SR seeking help and information about the disease of alcoholism donít attend any face-to-face meetings, so many probably donít know about the 12 Steps or the 12 Traditions. Iíve heard it said that the 12 Steps help us to put the focus on ourselves and to begin to heal from the devastating effects that alcoholism can have on our livesÖ. And the 12 Traditions can show us how to truly, peacefully and happily co exist with others. I know of people who have applied the 12 Traditions to their marriage with incredible and life-altering results.

If you have a loved one who is in treatment, going to rehab, or going to meetings, that person is most likely learning about the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions. The wording is essentially the same whether it's AA, NA, or Al Anon or Nar Anon. The idea is to keep the focus on ourselves, keep the anonymity of members, and to strive to make changes in ourselves and our perspectives.

Thereís a Step Study at the top of the Friends & Family forum, and Iím making a commitment to finishing it. Will you join me?

The 12 Steps of Al Anon:

Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the care of God as we understood Him

Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact
nature of our wrongs

Step 6. Were entirely to have God remove all of these defects of character

Step 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings

Step 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all

Step 9. Made direct amends to such people where ever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

Step 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

Step 11. Sought thru prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out

Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The Twelve Traditions of Al Anon

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends upon unity.

2. For our group purpose there is but one authority -- a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

3. The relatives of alcoholics, when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Al Anon Family Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.

4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting another groups AA or Al Anon as a whole.

5. Each Al Anon Family Group has but one purpose Ė to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of AA ourselves, by encouraging and understanding our alcoholic relatives, and by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics.

6. Our Al Anon family groups ought never endorse, finance, or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim. Although a separate entity, we should always cooperate with Alcoholics Anonymous.

7. Every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

8. Al Anon Twelfth Step work should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9. Our groups, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

10. The Al Anon Family Groups have no opinion on outside issues; hence our name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all AA members.

12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions; ever reminding us to place principles above personalities.
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:25 PM
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This would be very much appreciated.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:56 AM
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I would love it if you would do this! I've never really looked at the traditions before - they look interesting.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:50 AM
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Definitely interested! Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:37 PM
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After attending Al-anon for a little over a year, I think I am ready (and need to) begin working the steps. I figure I have little to lose by doing so, and hopefully much to gain.

I don't understand how it works or why it works, but I've been told numerous times that It works if you work it. Ones before me that have worked it say that it has changed their life, that their life is so much better as a result of working the steps.

Just wondering though, how and why it works?
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:23 PM
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Honestly, it works because it works. For me, I learned about myself. I learned where I stopped and someone else started. I learned what I could and could not control in my world. Working the steps taught me about setting and maintaining healthy personal boundaries. I learned about where I came from and why I did some of the things I did and believed some of the things I believed.

And maybe there's a little bit of magic in there too. Who am I to say otherwise?
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