In Loving Memory of Vic

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Tradition One

Tradition One

” Our common welfare should come first: personal recovery depends on NA unity.”

Narcotics Anonymous is more than just the first meeting we attend or the other NA meetings in our neighborhood. We are part of a much greater whole. Addicts apply the principles of Narcotics Anonymous and their personal recovery across town and around the world. Just as we learned in early recovery that we need each other to stay clean, we come to believe that all of us, every NA meeting and group, are independent. We share an equal membership in NA, and we all have an interest in maintaining the unity that underlines is common welfare. Unity is the spirit that joins thousands of members across the world in a spiritual fellowship that has the power to change lives.

One way to look at placing our common welfare first is to say that each of us is equally responsible for NA’s well-being. In our recovery, we have found that living claim is very difficult without the support of other members. Our individual recovery depends on meetings that take place regularly, other recovering addicts who participate, and sponsors you share with us how to stay clean. Even members who can’t get to meetings depend on the support of fellow addicts, maintaining contact with phone calls, letters, and NA loner groups. As each individual member relies on the support of the Fellowship for survival, so NA’s survival depends on its members.

(Pg. 126) Our First Tradition encourages not only are members there are groups to place our common welfare first. Most groups conducting most of their affairs on their own. In attending to the details of their week in, week out routines, anonymous NA groups may lose sight of the bigger picture. In the larger frame, each group is a strand in the supporting fabric of Narcotics Anonymous as a whole; without that fabric, there would be no NA. The importance of our unity in encourages our groups to look beyond their own little world to the common needs of the worldwide NA Fellowship, placing the welfare of the whole you for their own.

The relation described in the First Tradition is reciprocal. Groups work together in a spirit of cooperation to ensure the survival of Narcotics Anonymous; in turn, those groups receive strength and support from every other group and all of our services. The strength of our mutual commitment to Narcotics Anonymous creates the unity that binds us together in spite of all that might divide us. The common welfare NA depends on the continued growth and well-being of the Fellowship in every corner of the world.

Our shared commitment to recovery and to our common welfare gives us a personal stake in the unity of NA. In meetings, we find a new place to belong, new friends, and a hope for a better life. A filling of care and concern grows between us and the group. We learn to treat others with kindness and respect and do what we can to support each other and are grew. (Pg. 127) Sometimes we comfort each other merely by being president; at other times, a phone call or letter simply to say hello can make a world of difference. Our relationships with other addicts are a source of our strength and our personal recovery. We come to rely on meetings and on each other for that support. The unity we see in our meetings is an expression not only of our reliance on each other but our mutual reliance on the spiritual principles of a Higher Power.

NA unity begins with our recognition of the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. We help each other in different ways. Sometimes we help each other one-on-1, as in sponsorship, or we may help each other by participating in the formation of new meetings to make NA accessible to more addicts. Many groups are formed when members of a more established group decide to start another meeting. Sharing the responsibility and enhances our common welfare and creates unity among NA members who work together. Groove’s florist with the loving support of addicts helping addicts. We strengthen our unity by participating in each other’s recovery.

The unity described in our First Tradition is not the same thing as uniformity. Our membership is richly varied, made up of many addicts from widely differing backgrounds. These members bring with them a variety of ideas and talents. That diversity enriches the Fellowship and gives rise to new and creative ways to reach addicts who need our help. Our purpose to carry the message to the addict and still suffers (pg. 128) allows room for everyone to serve. When we unite in support of this purpose, our differences need no longer detract from our common welfare. Working together for our mutual well-being is a significant source of unity and Narcotics Anonymous.

While we often think of unity as a filling or a condition, unity doesn’t just happen. The unity underlying our common welfare requires personal commitment and responsible action. For example, when we accept personal responsibility for supporting our own group, we further NA unity and enhance the common welfare of the whole Fellowship. Our commitment to unity strengthens our groups, allowing us to carry a message of hope. Medians florist in this atmosphere of hope. The Fellowship grows in our common welfare increases as a result of our united efforts.

Communication goes a long way toward building and enhancing our common welfare. With an attitude of open-mindedness, we seek to understand other perspectives. Reports may tell us a lot about what’s happening in other groups or areas, but our common welfare depends on more than just information. True communication involves an effort on our part to “listen” as we read or hear reports, seeking a better understanding of the needs and problems of both our own group and other groups, wherever they may be. Encouraging each member to speak openly from the heart enhances our ability to work together. Regular reports, thorough discussion, and active listening lead (Pg. 129) us to the kind of understanding that helps us find creative solutions that benefit us all.

Today’s decisions may affect tomorrow’s members. When we think of solutions to our current problems, it’s not hard to consider the need of our group, our area, our region, or even the worldwide fellowship. But it’s also important to remember the “unseen members”in our decisions the members yet come. When we work to ensure the vitality of NA, we’re not working just for ourselves but for those yet to join us.

The unity that supports our common welfare is created not only by working together but by playing together. The friendships we developed outside meetings strengthen NA unity. Fellowship activities provide opportunities for us to relax, socialize with each other, and have fun. Conventions, dinners, and holiday celebrations give us a chance to celebrate our recovery while practicing social skills. Picnics, dances, and sports days, for example, often allow our families to participate, too. We strengthen our sense of community when we share more than just meeting time. Stronger relationships develop as we become more involved in each other’s lives. The care and understanding born of these relationships are strong threads in the fabric of NA unity.

Applying spiritual principles

In the Twelve Steps of NA, we learned to apply principles to better our lives. Moved by the miracle (Pg. 130) of personal recovery, we reach out to share that miracle with others. This is the essence of being of service in NA. In supporting our unity, we first apply principles to guide our own behavior. As groups, we use the same principles for guidance. That guidance engenders a sense of unity that strengthens our ability to reach out to others, and enhancing our common welfare. Some of the principles that seem particularly important to unity include surrender and acceptance, commitment, selflessness, love, and anonymity. As we practice these principles, we will find others that strengthen unity as well.

Surrender and acceptance open the door to unity. As our trust in a Higher Power grows, it gets easier to let go of our personal desires and stop fighting for what we want. With an attitude of surrender, working together in a group becomes easier. Tradition One presents a picture of addicts working together worldwide to support each other’s recovery. We try to remember this goal in all our actions, as individuals or as groups. If we find that our personal desires or are the aims of our group conflict with that ideal, unity ask us to surrender our own desires and except items that enhances the greater good of Narcotics Anonymous. Only by deciding to be part of that whole can we support the unity so essential to our personal survival.

Commitment is another essential ingredient in unity. Personal commitment to our shared sense of purpose is one of the ties that bind us together. When we know (Pg. 131) that we belong in NA, and when we make a commitment to stay, we become a part of the greater whole. Our sense of belonging is closely related to our degree of commitment to recovery in NA. As groups, the combined strength of that commitment is a powerful force in serving others. With that strong commitment, we are able to carry the message of hope that will support us all in our recovery.

Commitment is a decision supported by our believe in NA as a way of life. Regular meeting attendance is one of the ways in which we live out that belief. Greeting newcomers as they arrive or giving our telephone number to someone who needs help also reflects our decision. Sponsorship, sharing in meetings, setting up chairs before a meeting, all of these are ways in which we express our commitment. Each member finds a level of service that fits comfortably into a balanced program of recovery.

Selflessness is another indispensable element in unity. The principles we learn in the steps help us to lead go of our selfishness and lovingly serve the needs of others. To keep our groups healthy, we place the needs of our group ahead of our own personal desires. The same principle applies to our affairs as a group. Setting aside what we may want as a group, we think about the needs of the Fellowship and seek ways to support our common good. Our ability to survive as a Fellowship and to reach others depends on her unity.

Love is a principal that is expressed in the practice of goodwill toward one another. We contribute to (Pg. 132) unity in our meetings by exercising loving care and the way we speak in the way we treat one another. We tried to share our experience, strength, and hope in a way which demonstrates that recovery is available in Narcotics Anonymous. An atmosphere of love and care in our meetings helps members feel comfortable and safe. The love we show each other attracts newcomers and strengthens us all, fueling our sense of unity and common welfare.

Anonymity, the spiritual foundation of our traditions, supports NA unity as well. When we apply anonymity to the First Tradition, we overlook the differences that would separate us. In the context of unity, anonymity means that the message of recovery is for the every addict who wants it. We learn to set aside our prejudices and focus on our common identities as addicts. Each of us has an equal right to and responsibility for the well-being of Narcotics Anonymous.

This is anonymity is a spiritual foundation of our traditions, the unity spoken of in the First Tradition is the practical foundation on which we may build strong and successful groups. Each succeeding tradition builds up on the strength of our unity as a Fellowship, recalling the vital importance of the common welfare to each individual member and group. With unity as our practical foundation, we find that our relationship with one another is more important than any issues that may arise to divide its. No problems or disagreement is more significant than our need for each other’s support. The fundamental importance of our common (Pg. 133) welfare strengthens our understanding of all the other traditions. Many questions can be answered simply by determining how the action we contemplate will affect the unity of the Fellowship. Will it serve to divide us, or will it bring us closer together?

Unity is a spirit that joins members around the world in a spiritual fellowship that has the power to change lives. By striving to see beyond our individual ideas in the interests of our own group, we come to understand that the common welfare of all NA must come first. Through our trust in a loving Higher Power, we find the strength to work together toward our shared goal of recovery from addiction. In the unity that grows in trust, we are ready to work together for a common good.

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