February 27, Why Anonymity Works (DA Tool Twelve)

Thought for today:

“Why do we stay anonymous in DA? After all, doesn’t it make life easier if we shared publicly what our program offers? Why hide it? What is this – a ‘secret society’?”

These questions are natural for anyone outside of the fellowship to ask, and need answering. Old timers to DA will often reply with a mention about DA’s Tradition Twelve, which states it best:

DA Tradition Twelve: 

“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”

A lot has been written about anonymity in Twelve Step fellowships.  Basically, on the public level, anonymity keeps egos at bay. The message of recovery is less likely to be diluted, politicized, or distorted for personal gain if the bearer of the message stays anonymous. The message of recovery gets center stage, not us.

DA’s Tool Twelve, also about Anonymity, is speaking about anonymity between members:

DA Tool Twelve:

“We practice anonymity, which allows us freedoms of expression by assuring us that what we say at meetings or to other DA members at any time will not be repeated.”

Anonymity in this sense ensures personal safety, so important to us all. None of us wants to hear our words repeated and judged by others.

Together, Tradition Twelve and Tool Twelve help us understand that Anonymity as a principle is there to promote humility and love, making our fellowship more likely to be helpful to its members.

Meditation for today:

When we actively seek to diminish ourselves as members of DA, Love has more opportunity to do its work. That doesn’t mean we don’t have opinions and ideas outside of the fellowship of DA. We’d hardly be human if we didn’t. Our perspective staying small helps God stay the primary focus, and creates an environment of love.

Affirmations for today:

I have power to care for the privacy of my fellow group members. As I seek God’s will in all things, I find I intuitively know how to handle sensitive situations that used to baffle me.

Prayer for today:

I pray that my Higher Power makes me grateful by keeping the fellowship more important than me personally. I pray that by carefully abiding by the principle of Anonymity, I may let my ego rest, and let God take credit where credit is due.

Recommended Reading:

Originally published in 1952, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions is the classic book used by AA members and groups around the world. It lays out the principles by which AA members recover and by which the fellowship functions. The basic text clarifies the Steps which constitute the AA way of life and the Traditions, by which AA maintains its unity.

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