The program I am working today involves the 12 steps and the 12 traditions. I would like to discuss Tradition three today instead of the daily reading that speaks about keep coming back. I have raved lots over the past few months about how much the fellowship and program has to offer to people wanting to access that. Last night I read Tradition three and found my mind wanting to play in that park for today.
So thats where I shall play.
Tradition Three states that the only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using. I enjoy working the traditions in my life almost as much as I like working the steps. I have heard it said several times that the steps keep me from killing myself and the traditions keep me from killing others. I can see the relevance clearly. Looking into each tradition from not only my fellowships stance as well as that of other fellowships as well helps me see a much larger picture. Allowing me to bring it down into a perspective I can fully understand.
The first time I read this tradition I took the lesson of non judgement out of it. However now that I am beginning to work it in my life I can see it is much larger then that. Stating that anyone may attend a meeting if they desire relief from the drug that is altering their minds helps us accept all walks of life into the room. Thats great, teaches us tolerance and acceptance where in the past we may have lacked these two spiritual principals.
What interests me more is two other avenues this tradition opens up for me. The first one is the ability to see the common thread in a relationship. People in my fellowship all share something in common, we all struggle with mood altering substances. That is the bond that holds us together, its what strengthens our unity. This is the principal over the personality. Learning to take this outside the rooms and apply it in my life is the exciting realization for me. I am seeing the common thread in all my friendships and relationships inside and outside the fellowship.
Having the ability to see what I share in common with someone has shifted my focus away from what we are separated by. My friends of many years who are not addicts suffered a lot over the past few years as I tried to figure out how to be friends with them and with my new addict friends. My family has suffered the same way. I alienated all the people in my life that did not share the common bond of addiction with me. Now with learning this tradition I can begin to work a process of identifying the common bond between my 'other' friends and my family. I can shift the focus to the similarities we do share instead of being focussed on what we don't.
I think that focus of finding the commonality within all the people I meet will create a unity much larger then myself in all my interactions with others. By making that a focus and strengthening that aspect of the relationship, I will be able to find security and comfort in knowing what part I play in that friendship. I see now how many of my friends share different aspects of my being. I am more then an addict or a Landscaper or a daughter or a seeker of spiritual truths. My friends help me embrace all sides of me. All of them play a part in nurturing and developing who I am. Its through each common focus that I can strengthen that.
The second thing that is dawning light on my understanding is the cross addiction thing. During meetings I have fallen victim to sharing about how horrible all my other addictions are. When I write here I rant about all my other addictions. I read about how this blurs the message for the new comer. They may not be able to relate to your second addiction or the way you act out. Our primary focus is to carry a message and that's one of drug abuse. A popping awareness was shot through the core of my being as I realized my mistakes. Spewing all my other addictions needs to slow down and focus needs to be brought back to the reason why I fell from grace.... A big fat pipe.
I am just embarking on tradition three and I am sure I will find lots more as I process and live the tradition in my life. This program is a never ending supply of knowledge and understanding. After two years I am far from bored.... this has got to be some major record for me. It's why I Keep Coming back. Ha look at that, I still managed to share on the topic today. :)
Oh and I got A job!!