Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities. We don’t recover by our own power. We do not recover by the power of our sponsor. We do not recovery by the power of the fellowship, group or meeting.
This is not a self-help program. This is not a mutual help program. This is a spiritual help program. We recover by the Grace and Love of a Higher Power. We should never seek to attain accolades, honors, status, or recognition for our work as 12 Steppers. Doing so would be under false pretense. We give the credit where it is due: God. We should be quick to point this out whenever someone is grateful for the work we have done.
Were it not for the Grace of a Higher Power, we would not be here to help anyone, and perhaps not be here at all. We give credit to God and take none for ourselves. We do not take credit for the recovery of those we sponsor. They, like ourselves, recover by the Power of God. But this is a good thing. For if we could take credit for this miracle, we would have to also take responsibility for the failures of our proteges. This is a weight we are not meant to bear. We are playing God when we do.
We do our 12th Step work out of our own desire to stay sober and gratitude for what our Higher Power has done for us. For this reason we do not divulge who we sponsor. We might begin to feel shame for the failures and our egos would balloon over the successes. Conversely, it is perfectly alright for us to divulge who our sponsor is. In fact to do so is our responsibility to those in the fellowship to whom we have made ourselves accountable. In turn, those who love us know they must contact our sponsor and appraise them of our deviation from the spiritual principals of the Steps, Traditions and/or Concepts.
Our respective sponsors should then take on the responsibilities of discussing with us our misbehavior. In the same way we should take responsibility for those we sponsor. It is not our job to control our proteges. It is our job to practice integrity. We only know how to sponsor someone in the program which spiritually awakened us. We must resign as his/her sponsor when one of our proteges insists on working the program differently than we do. We must always remember – it is the program which brought us into a relationship with our Higher Power such that we stay free of our obsession. It was not our sponsor.
It is true; our sponsor knew how to apply these principals such that he/she was freed via a spiritual awakening. He/She knew from his/her own experience how rigorously these principals must be applied such that the spiritually awakening can take root and flourish We must also remember that our respective sponsors were just another member of the fellowship, just another of many.
Our spiritual awakening happened when we rigorously applied specific principals to our daily living, not as the result of the personality who sponsored us. Our logic brought us to the conclusion that God’s will for this 12 Step fellowship must be in line with these time tested, history proven principals. When we deviate from the specific, precise, clear-cut directions of the Steps and do so willfully, when we choose to ignore the admonishments of the Traditions, when we try to “re-invent” the 12 Concepts, it is because our egos (personalities) are thinking we know better. God’s will for any 12 Step group will never conflict with these principals. When our group is in conflict with these ideas, we know that we are operating on self-will instead of God’s will.