Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The traditions

When I first started coming to meetings, I thought that the traditions were boring and sounded too much like bureaucratic meanderings. I hadn't studied the traditions and didn't really understand how they applied not only to the fellowship but to my life as well.

Take Tradition Ten as an example: The Alanon Family Groups have no opinion on outside issues; hence our name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

I can see that without this tradition there would be discussions on religion, politics, therapy programs, and much more. Two of the things that seem to create strong opinions are religion and politics. If Tradition Ten weren't in place, then meetings could dissolve into conflict over differing opinions instead of keeping the focus on alcoholism.

In my own life, I need to be mindful of what Tradition Ten has to offer in the way of guidelines for not allowing my opinions on issues to cause conflict with others. I do have opinions on many things and a tendency to express those opinions when the subjects come up. In the past, I've wanted to carry my point in discussions. Now I realize that my opinions are just that, opinions. They should have no bearing on my group or on my program and how I relate to other people. I try to not let differences of opinion become divisive in relationships with family and friends. For me, I need to be accepting of what others think. I may not always agree but they have a right to their opinion just as I do.

It has become obvious to me that in meetings we have to put differences aside and strive to find the commonality in all of us. If I'm mindful that I can't solve another's problems or give them advice then I'm taking into account Tradition Ten. I simply need to focus on my own issues and limit my own sharing to my own experience strenght and hope.


  1. Syd,
    I think we all struggle with the idea behind the traditions when we first enter Al-Anon because they tend to mean different things to different people. That has been my experience thus far anyway in those rooms. Some people talk about AA, others say we cannot mention AA. I still get confused on this subject. Though, our program is taken from AA, some believe we should never mention AA at the meetings. As far as religion/politics, it is a great thing these things are not mention because the debate would be so strong that our focus on the program would become totally lost.

  2. Without the traditions there would be no 12-step programs.
    My sponsor made me study them and I do the same with those I work with.
    We are currently debating one of the traditions on Sobriety Society. Drop by and give us your opinion. LOL

  3. This is a nice reflection on the 10th tradition. It is good to talk about these things.

  4. oh dear, i used to get into these heavy discussions all the time. and my aim was to convince whoever that mine is right.

    nowadays i still express my opinions, however, now i leave the convincing bit out. 'cause it's like you say: my opinion is just that. my opinion...

  5. Wish everybody could participate in Al-Anon..sounds like a lot of commonsense to me. Not bringing religion/politics into it is good thinking. Why stray from the subject. You seem to be doing better as time goes on. Guess you only get out of it..what you put into it.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.