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SLAA Traditions Summary

This document is a summary of the Traditions readings from the Alcoholics Anonymous book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and the SLAA draft, Framework for Living. Framework for Living contains the SLAA program’s twelve steps, twelve traditions, and twelve concepts for service of SLAA.

 

When you are planning to introduce something new to the SLAA community, please look over this document to ensure that we are staying true to the traditions of our fellowship.  Our goal is to always ensure that our community is healthy and strong. 

 

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to an experienced fellow in our community for support. 

 

AA

Spiritual Principles of the Traditions

AA Tradition

Summary

SLAA Tradition

Summary

1. Unity

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.

·   Unity is the most cherished quality of AA

·   Even so, the individual is important

·   The 12 Steps are suggestions, not requirements

·   Each individual’s life depends upon obedience to spiritual principles

·   We have to give it away to keep it

·   Individuals can’t recover unless there is a group.

·   We must consider the needs of others and have faith in their strength

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon S.L.A.A. unity.

·  As addicts, we tend to go it alone.  This tradition guides us towards unity; this is a “we” program

·  Our best chance for personal progress is healthy community

·  We care for others without judgment

·  Without the Fellowship, we would not be able to get and stay sober; without sobriety, we would not know joy, serenity, and purpose

·  We put the welfare of SLAA ahead of our individual desires, putting our egos aside

·  We engage in open discussion and debate, but in the end, we commit to the success of the Fellowship

·  Unity does not mean uniformity/conformity

·  Our Fellowship has no authority over its members

·  As a Fellowship, we have one purpose: to help the sex and love addict who still suffers.

·  We focus on the group in order to protect the individual, and the sobriety of each individual supports and maintains the integrity and unity of the group.

·  Affirming the Fellowship as a daily practice is part of our spiritual life.

2) Trust

2) For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority–a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

·   No one person is in charge of AA

·   No one person in AA can give another commands or enforce obedience

·   Only God is the ultimate authority

·   God is expressed through group conscience

·   Governance of groups is rotating and conducted by group conscience

·   Leadership does not give spiritual advice, judge conduct, or issue orders

·   “Elder Statesmen” are old-timers who understand the wisdom of group decisions and who lead by example. 



2) For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as this Power may be expressed through our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

·  The only authority for SLAA is our Higher Power as its will is expressed by our group conscience, not individual selves.

·  We trust that our Higher Power will nourish and develop our Society.

·  Our leaders at all levels are servants in support of our fellowship

·  Leaders should be “on tap, not on top.”

·  The Traditions are characterized by self-sacrifice, humility, and letting go.

·  We live the principles of the Steps, as we each practice them, and they guide our behavior.

·  Our goal is to help sex and love addicts recover and each one of us to grow in recovery.

·  We serve, and we are trusted. We trust, and we are served.

·  Our process is slow, representational, and democratic.

3) Identity

3) The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking

·   You are an AA member if you say so

·   No one can make you join or make you leave

·   Originally, the group wanted to only admit “pure alcoholics,” an idea that excluded many who needed help

·   No one has to pay anything to be a member of AA

·   It is not the job of AA to judge anyone

·   There are no religious belief requirements for membership in AA

3) The only requirement for S.L.A.A. membership is a desire to stop

living out a pattern of sex and love addiction. Any two or more persons gathered

together for mutual aid in recovering from sex and love addiction may call

themselves an S.L.A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other

affiliation.

·  Anyone who wants to recover from addiction to sex and love is a member if they declare themselves so. The only requirement is a desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction.

·  Our Fellowship is not restricted, we are all equal, we all have the same disease

·  We are a society of addicts helping addicts

·  Any two people may call themselves an SLAA group as long as that group is not affiliated with any other group.

·  Our Fellowship makes many suggestions for recovery.  No one may be ejected from the group if they choose not to follow them.

·  We welcome and support newcomers

·  Anyone can come back, no matter how many times they relapse

·  There is no cost to being a member of SLAA

·  Each S.L.A.A. group is free to conduct its business in accordance with the principles of the Steps,Traditions, and Concepts as their group conscience dictates.

·  Individual meetings may decide to restrict attendance in a way that is designed for the safety and support of a specific segment of our Society.

·  We can address the behavior of individual members of our Fellowship when it is disruptive in some way, but we cannot revoke their membership.

·  Group conscience should guide actions in difficult circumstances

4) Autonomy

4) Each group should be autonomous except when matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole

·   Every AA group can manage their group exactly as they please.  This does not apply if it threatens AA as a whole

·   Each AA group is an individual entity, reliant on its own conscience as a guide

·   No group should affiliate itself with anything or anybody else

·   Sobriety must be its sole objective

·   “Don’t take yourself too damn seriously.”

·   Each group can exercise its right to be wrong

4) Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting

other groups or S.L.A.A. as a whole.

·  “Don’t take yourself too damn seriously.” If we take ourselves too seriously, if we restrict the ability for meetings to change and grow, we choke off the creative force of our program.

·  The Traditions are not rules, regulations, commandments, or requirements. They are spiritual guidelines

·  Autonomous groups are self-governing, independent, and free from control.

·  Groups are allowed to operate independently from the Fellowship.  They each have the “right to be wrong.”

·  Autonomy is not equivalent to irresponsibility.

·  Responsibility to S.L.A.A. means examining our group’s actions in light of the principles of the program.

·  The strength of our Fellowship is built through the diversity of our meetings.

5) Purpose

5) Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the alcohol who still suffers.

·  We all may have different goals/careers/agendas in our personal lives but our common goal is to carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer. 

·  As people in recovery, we can help those trying to get sober better than anyone else regardless of their training. 

·  Our personal status or goals are of no matter.  We are all equals as fellows in recovery.

·  If we don't share the message of recovery not only do we not help the suffering addict but we also risk losing our own sobriety. We can seldom stay sober if we don't give it away. 

5) Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the sex and love addict who still suffers.

·  Each group may run as it sees fit as long as they are sharing SLAA recovery / 12 steps for the newcomers.

·  We keep our focus on our sex and love addiction - not social or economic background, etc.

·  We share our experience, strength, and hope and let go of the rest.  Sobriety doesn't make us experts in other areas of people's lives. We must stay in our own lanes.

6) Solidarity

6) An AA group ought never to endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

·  We cannot lend the AA name to any school, laws, or religion. 

·  AA must stand alone.

·  Clubhouses for 12-step meetings must not claim to be AA.  

·  We are not to use our program of recovery as a way to make money.  It separates us from our primary purpose.  

·  Our personal slip may become an AA slip in the eyes of the public.

 

6) An SLAA group or SLAA as a whole ought never to endorse, finance, or lend the SLAA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

·  We need to stay focused on carrying the message.

·  We must avoid attempts to manage property, money, or prestige.

·  Becoming involved with outside issues (clubhouses, rehabilitation centers, etc.) will fragment SLAA.

·  We don't endorse anyone's way of working the 12 steps.  It is an individual journey.

·  This tradition protects our recovery from our ego.

7) Responsibility

7) Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

·  We don’t mix AA and money. That is like mixing the spiritual with the material.  The only place is the donation hat.

·  To accept large donations we risk the donor having pull or control over how things are run.

·  Principle of corporate poverty.  If large donations were not declined AA would become rich and then our singleness of purpose would be lost.

·  AA is not in the business of making money, we are not a corporation.

7) Every SLAA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

·  Money is to be donated anonymously and our goal is not to make money. 

·  We are not a corporation.

·  Each group has expenses to pay with their donations and any extra can be donated to FWS.

·  The perception that we need more money to accomplish material goals, even if the result is to reach more addicts, is a dangerous line of thinking that can subvert our primary purpose.  Money plays only a minimal part in our purpose.

 

8) Fellowship

8) Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

·  Freely we receive. so freely we should give.

·  Money and spirituality do not mix. Sobriety has almost never been brought about by a professional.

·  Money compromises everything.

·  When we tried to professionalize our 12th step we lost the singleness of purpose.

·  Alcoholics can choose careers that help to bring people to AA or sobriety such as detoxes, rehabs, and therapists just as any non-alcoholic may but they may never be paid for 12-step work. 

·  The General Service Office must be run to keep meeting lists up to date, publish literature, and answer phone calls so they must employ people to carry out those jobs.

 

8) SLAA should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

·  We are a society that helps one another to heal from our sex and love addiction. 

·  We do what we do in order to further our own and our fellows' spiritual growth, not for monetary or any other form of material gain. That would be employment or bartering - not a service commitment.

·  Many are professionals in our personal lives but we are all equals suffering from the same addiction within the rooms.

·  We do our service commitments as 12-step work with no expectations or acceptance of material gain.

·  FWS has expenses such as rent, phones, letters, publishing literature, and– on occasion– counsel for legal issues.  For these services, we need to employ special workers to perform the tasks.

 

9)  Structure

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

 

·  Service boards and committees are used to serve AA as a whole.

·  These service boards and committees do not govern, rule, dictate, or exude authority over AA as a whole.

·  These service boards and committees do support AA and its members' personal sobriety. 

·  The members that make up these service boards and committees should rotate their service positions for the health of AA.

·  AA has to function but at the same time most avoid “wealth, prestige and entrenched power”.

 

9) SLAA as such ought never to be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. 

·  SLAA groups represent the membership at large.

·  We find our structure through our Higher Power as expressed through group conscience, and it is a structure exclusively dedicated to serving the individuals and groups that make up our Fellowship 

·  Our Officers must serve the group as trusted servants, to carry out the will of the group. 

·  SLAA members and groups inform the Intergroup about their concerns and needs.

·  We are a fellowship of equals who share decision-making.

·  We are not to play God. 

·  We are to provide service, not government. 

·  At all levels of service we must serve in humility, open-minded to those who offer different ways to do things.

·  Organized structures in our Fellowship cannot give orders, cannot make directives, and do not govern.

10) Neutrality

10) AA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never to be drawn into public controversy

·  AA does not take a public stance on any outside matters – political or other causes.

·  AA focus to the sex and love addictions who are sick and suffering. The focus should be on spreading the message of AA to those in need.  

·  To engage in external issues would divert AA from its sole task.

 

10) SLAA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the SLAA name ought never to be drawn into public controversy,

·  We have one primary purpose that connects us. 

·  We are careful to maintain the separation between ourselves as individuals and the Fellowship when interacting with society at large.

·  We avoid controversy and judgment inside our Fellowship.

·  In meetings, we focus on recovery only.

11)  Anonymity

11) Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need to always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, film, and other public media.

 

·  We don’t engage in promotion (advertising, marketing, etc.) in media and other spheres.

·  We prioritize the anonymity of our fellows. 

·  We focus on providing support to the addict over self-furthering interests.

·  Personal ambition has no place in AA 

 

11) Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion: we need to always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, film, and other public media. We need to guard with special care the anonymity of all fellow SLAA Members

·  We have learned that keeping our egos in check is a large part of staying sober.

·  We want to promote our principles, not our members. 

·  We want to model humility, not personality.

·  We each bear a responsibility for the reputation of our Fellowship. We are guardians, we are examples of our recovery and our Society.

·  Without anonymity, newcomers might be afraid to come to a meeting or to come back. We are, therefore, guardians of each other’s anonymity.

 

12) Spirituality

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

 

·  We forego personal desires for the common good of AA.

·  We practice anonymity for ourselves, and our fellows.

·  Through anonymity, “we try to give up our natural desire for personal distinction”.

·   “Humility expressed by anonymity, is the greatest safeguard” for AA fellowship.

 

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

·  Our way of life as a group is based on our willingness to sacrifice our personal, ego-driven desires in exchange for the greater good.

·  Practice in humility, the deep understanding that we are not special.

·  Real humility in action is about being helpful without acknowledgment.

·  We guard the anonymity of each SLAA member. 

 

 

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