Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tradition Nine: Lighten up

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

The principles for this tradition are equal opportunity and rotation in service. The traits that I think this tradition embody are equality and "lightening up".

To me this tradition says that I don't need to control the group or people in my life. I need not do it all or know it all. I don’t need to be nor am I expected to take myself too seriously. I am responsible for my own growth and needs, and others are responsible for theirs. We are all responsible to share responsibility of service.

This seems to be one of the more difficult traditions to talk about, but what usually comes up in our group discussions is that there is no hierarchy here - no leader, no boss, no working your way up the ladder, etc.

I had to work my way up the ladder as a new Ph.D. I had to "get known" in my field. And then eventually I was put on various boards and national committees. That's probably true for many people in my meetings who are active in the community and in their career. After all, we may be a bit crazy, but we know how to do our crazy stuff responsibly! But Alanon is different from community and career work, and there is a lot of value in that difference. We do not make message boards or committees to "govern" us. Instead, we look to each other for the work that is needed. And it's all voluntary.

Tradition 9 is not as difficult or complex as I thought it was. It simply means we are a "fellowship" of people with like goals and hopes that are helped by each other. No one is above another, we serve each other, and as we get more seasoned in recovery, we may feel like we want to be of even more service to others. We are a "trusted servant" for the group.

This tradition is also an exhortation to have fun, be playful, and to lighten up. I'm learning not to take myself too seriously. Our lives have been very difficult at times, and for most of us there haven't been many laughs. I've given myself permission to have a lot of laughs and to exercise my sense of humor.
On another note:

I'll be hosting the chat on Sunday night, Feb. 15, over at the Second Road. The chat starts at 8 PM, and the topic is going to be how to get balance in your life. It's open to anyone who wants to show up. Let your fingers do the talking.

The Traditions will continue next Tuesday as Steve and I take a short break. Whew!


  1. That is fantastic Syd! Just great :)

  2. The fellowship, in all its forms, has been a bright spot in my sobriety.

  3. oh how i love the concept of lightening up!

  4. Yep, I agree, Syd. You wrote:

    "I'm glad that we are 75% of the way to completion. What a good thing this has been for me though. It's one thing to read about the traditions in meetings and quite another to put this down for others to read."

    And Tuesday it is then!

    I've been given an 'invite' to TSR, but still (a defect!) afraid to try new shit. I'll try to "get on" by Sunday night...

  5. Oh Yeah! Syd, thanks for the reminder that tomorrow is Friday the 13th (your comment on Judith's Blog).

    Now I can REALLY be 'afraid' -grin (Ooops! I promised someone--think it was Lou--I would not 'grin' on here again. Promises are made to be..... WHAT? GOD? Is that YOU--grinning?)

  6. Tuesday, F.I.N.E.

    What holiday? Or maybe "Syd's Day" Hmmmmmmmmmm?

  7. "Wear sobriety like a loose jacket"
    Thats the spirit of recovery. Slow down, relax, live and let live. Great post. I will try to catch you at TSR. Never been there and not sure what 8.00pm your time is over here. But hopefully I will get to hear you.

  8. ..not organized..hehe..That sounds like our District Meetings. Seriously, though, we just had one and got our District budget passed at the first meeting of the year. That is nothing short of a miracle. Tradition 9 helps me to remember that we each have a place and a gift to share and we are all equally important and necessary for the good of Alanon.


  9. Great job Syd on the traditions, you write them so people can understand them!


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