Sacrifice Through the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous

Sacrifice Through the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous

Sacrifice Through the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous

After completing a Traditions study with one of my service sponsees, Ashleigh H., I asked her to spend some time writing out everything that she learned to surrender (sacrifice) in herself as a result of practically applying the spiritual principles found within each of the 12 Traditions.  It was so well done that I asked her permission to share it on this site in the hopes it might help others in our Fellowship.  Thanks Ash!

Disclaimer from the Author: “I used some concepts presented on this website as inspiration.”

  1. I sacrifice my individual goals and desires in an attempt to live in unity with those around me. At my home group, I place the welfare of the group and AA as a whole first by letting go of my own ambitions and selfish desires. In my relationships I must place the welfare of the relationship, meaning the welfare of others, before my own. I am asked to practice selflessness and give of myself, instead of simply taking, as I am so apt to do. I am also asked to relinquish control of how I think people and situations “should be” and accept others around me as they are, as God would have them to be.
  2. I sacrifice the idea that “I know best.” I give up the need to be the authority, the obsession with being right. A loving God expresses himself in the conscience of my home group each month, and it isn’t always the way I think it “should be.” I am asked to sacrifice control over the process and learn to trust that all will be ok in the end. This is much the same in relationships. I am asked to sacrifice the need to dominate, to be the ultimate decision maker. But i also get to let go of the enormous weight this places in my shoulders, to be able to say “this isn’t up to me…” I lay aside the presumption that I must do this thing on my own.
  3. I sacrifice the fear I have of others and the need to act as gatekeeper at my home group. In my daily life I sacrifice materialistic ambitions in the pursuit of spiritual growth and character building. I give up worrying about how my life will turn out, whether I will get the job, whether I will be able to pay the bills, whether I will eventually be able to have 3 kids and a nice big house, and I focus on my sobriety. This is another call to let go what I think is important and simply focus on my desire for sobriety today.
  4. I sacrifice selfish and self-centeredness and the tendency I have to make decisions without considering others first. This is true both at my home group and in my relationships.
  5. I sacrifice my old ideas to make room for a new purpose in life, to carry the message of AA to the still suffering alcoholic. I sacrifice the need to be the “best” spouse, parent, coworker, employee, sibling, or friend. My ability to be in healthy relationships with other people is a direct reflection of my absolute dedication to my new way of life, my new primary purpose as a recovered alcoholic.
  6. I again am asked to sacrifice control over my life and worry about things like money, sex, and social status. I sacrifice my inner drive to be the best and to have the most to allow myself to be hyper focused on my new job in alcoholics anonymous. When I give up focusing on the outside issues to dedicate myself to sobriety and service to others, it all seems to work itself out without my influence.
  7. I sacrifice worship of wealth and other status symbols. I seek to be able to support myself with the help and guidance of my higher power rather than striving out of fear to have more and more than what I need.
  8. I sacrifice compensation for my good deeds, the need to be praised or otherwise “repaid” for my efforts. I am asked to FREELY give back what was freely given to me, both my sponsor’s time and the grace of my higher power. In my relationships, I take this one step further and attempt to practice true humility and let go of my need to be recognized for my service to others.
  9. Again, I sacrifice control over my life in the recognition that when I attempt to control and organize my life my way, it leads to disaster. I allow my higher power to do the organizing for me, and I follow that guidance. Sacrifice of this control leads to peace in my life.
  10. I sacrifice my opinions and judgements of others and focus on myself. Taking inventory of myself allows me to get right with myself and my higher power. When I am right with myself and with god, I have no need to insert myself between others and their higher power.
  11.  I sacrifice the credit for the good I do. My ability to be a beacon of hope, to embody a way of life that is attractive to others does not come from me. I am asked to sacrifice my need to take the credit and give that credit to my higher power from whom all my blessings flow.
  12. I sacrifice the need for personal reward and credit for doing good. I do away with “self,” selfish motives and desires, and practice spiritual principles. In the spirit of humility, I am able to identify more with my actual desire to live spiritually rather than my desire to be recognized personally for those efforts.

Gentle Reminder: To honor our 12 Traditions and the spirit of anonymity in which our program is founded upon, if you choose to share this post, we encourage you to only share it within your A.A. network or in secret/private sections of social media outlets accessible only to A.A. members.  God bless.