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Realigned by a Few Tenths

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There are problems faced by OA members who do not practice a dogma-based spirituality. These problems could be eliminated by restating certain Steps and Traditions to align with Tradition Ten.

In OA, I was constantly being told:

  • living within ethical and moral principles can only occur within dogma-based spiritual practices.
  • spirituality is only expressed by belief in a singular and masculine god
  • only spiritual expression (prayer) that is recognized by the group is valid for the individual.
  • only certain postures constitute valid spiritual practices.
  • only spiritual practices from specific dogmas are the correct ones to use to practice or express recovery.
  • only dogma-based religions are valid spiritual practices.
  • spirituality must be indoors, unmoving, silent, or voiced within religious confines to be valid.
  • specific spiritual practices must be utilized in a particular way before and after meals.

Would we dare say that only eating with a fork and knife is abstinent? What about with chopsticks or clean fingers?

I’ve since realized:

  • a phrase that was amazingly open-minded in 1935 (“God as we understood Him”) is not sufficient to embrace the diversity of our global Fellowship.
  • Step Two can live in my thoughts as “Recognized that acknowledgement of our individual spiritualities will create balance and have a positive, healthy effect in our lives.”
  • Step Three can live as “Made a decision to guide our physical and emotional lives by the practice of our individual spiritualities.”
  • Step Five can live as “Acknowledged our negative and positive characteristics to ourselves, another human being, and within the practice of our individual spiritualities.”
  • Step Six can live as “Were entirely ready to see that awareness and practice of our own spiritualities strengthens our positive characteristics and transforms our harmful characteristics without needing a time frame for this process.”
  • Step Seven can live as “I am in charge of the footwork; the timing of the results is not in my control.”
  • Step Eleven can live as “Sought to practice our spiritualities regularly to encourage and support our recovery.”
  • Tradition Two can live as “OA authority is our group conscience as guided by the spirituality practiced by each member.”

With these changes, Tradition Ten would need no change to be true.

— Anonymous

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