DecemberJust for Today

December 25 – Anonymity and self-will

“The drive for personal gain… which brought so much pain in the past falls by the wayside if we adhere to the principle of anonymity.”

Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text page 76

The word anonymity itself means namelessness, but there’s a larger principle at work in the anonymity of the NA program: the principle of selflessness.  When we admit our powerlessness to manage our own lives, we take our first step away from self-will and our first step toward selflessness.  The less we try to run our lives on self-will, the more we find the power and direction once so sorely lacking in our lives.

But the principle of selflessness does a lot more than just make us feel better—it helps us live better.  Our ideas of how the world should be run begin to lose their importance, and we stop trying to impose our will on everyone and everything around us.  And when we abandon our “know-it-all” pretensions and start recognizing the value of other people’s experience, we start treating them with respect.  The interests of others become as important to us as our own; we start to think about what’s best for the group, rather than just what’s best for us.  We start living a life that’s bigger than we are, that’s more than just us, our name, ourself—we start living the principle of anonymity.

We have heard the phrase “principles before personalities” so often that it is like a cliché. While we may disagree as individuals, the spiritual principle of anonymity makes us all equal as members of the group. No member is greater or lesser than any other member. The drive for personal gain in the areas of sex, property and social position, which brought so much pain in the past, falls by the wayside if we adhere to the principle of anonymity. Anonymity is one of the basic elements of our recovery and it pervades our Traditions and our Fellowship. It protects us from our own defects of character and renders personalities and their differences powerless. Anonymity in action makes it impossible for personalities to come before principles.

Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text page 76

Just for today:  God, please free me from self-will.  Help me understand the principle of anonymity; help me to live selflessly.

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Paul T
Learning to live life again and recovering from addiction

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