Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tradition One "Our common welfare..."

"Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon OA unity."

When I think of Tradition One, I think of Unity. Not just unity in our OA groups, but also in our homes, our work, our friendships, and in all areas of life. My first sponsor had me go through the steps and traditions and apply them to my life. That was hard for me because I had not seen much unity in my life. I came from an alcoholic home and the only unity we had was chaotic. I didn't know what unity at home meant. I did feel unity and happiness when I went to my grandparents house. They loved my brother and I with an unconditional love. We were just allowed to be kids. At home, we were the parents. We were supposed to keep house, do the cooking, and anything else that needed done. So... unity was an unknown thing to me.

Let me start with our groups. What is our common welfare? For me, I feel our common welfare is to carry the message to other compulsive overeaters. What if your idea is different? Do we have unity? If you have been in any sort of group, you know what it is like to be either a part of it, or the person who has been "left out in the cold". I find that a good group is one that everyone is on the same playing field. We each have the groups goals as our desires. We want what is best for everyone and not just for the "chosen few". In any of the 12 step groups, I am finding that unity is sometimes hard to find because I am so self-centered, wanting my own way. (Sound like you?) It is difficult to not want what I want. We have just started an intergroup here in our area and it is so difficult to find unity within the group. There are those who want things their way, those who are low in self-esteem who won't speak up, and then those who just don't want to commit to anything. How do we find unity within this group? It is taking some effort. We have to do it at each meeting, asking our HP to lead and direct our steps so that He has control of the meeting and not us. Only when He is in charge, can we find unity.

OK, now lets go to the home front! The common welfare of my family (in my opinion) is to have a loving and caring home. What if the others within my family don't have the same idea? Now, take a quick look at your home situation. What is your common welfare? Does everyone feel the same way? Are you a united group? Is there any one person who MUST have their way or they aren't happy? Are you that person? Lots of questions, but if we really look within our self, we will see that most of the time the answers lie within us.

My home growing up was one where whatever Mom or Dad said was to be done without question. If we didn't complete the task, there were consequences. So, our common welfare in my eyes was to make Mom and Dad happy. I grew up thinking that the man of the house was always right, so when I married it was difficult when I was given a chance to speak up. My first husband didn't want the responsibility of being "in charge". I was to do just about everything. We divorced and about 7 years later I remarried, but this time to an alcoholic. We didn't stay married long because I found myself "walking on egg shells" most of the time. If you have ever been there, you know what I am talking about. I never felt like I did anything right. That was my first encounter with the 12 steps. As I began to take my stand and try to get unity in our home, I found that we just weren't made for each other.

Today I am on my 3rd marriage. This marriage is different. My husband and I try to work together to make our home a loving place for our family. My husband allows me to have an opinion and we share the chores around the house. He expects me to speak my mind, and I do him too! I must say that there are times when we disagree, but at least we know what the other person is thinking and often we work it out.

The last place we will discuss is at work. What is our common welfare? To me, it is to get the job accomplished in a timely manner. I find that a job is more enjoyable when you work together as a team. I have been in jobs where there is a supervisor who delegates and demands you do certain things and if not done, punishes you. Then I have been in jobs where teamwork is done and everyone works together to get the jobs done. If something comes up and you have a problem, you can always count on someone else to pitch in and help. That is the place I like to work. How about you?

Now is your turn. Tell me what you think about this Tradition. Is it important to you: at home, at work, within your group?

Hugs till next time! Cindy

1 comment:

An Anonymous Overeater said...

I just went to my first OA meeting yesterday so I'm not quite clear on all the steps and what they mean but I look forward to your future blogs. I have put a link to your blog on mine. Thanks for the inspiration.