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Applying Traditions, Accepting Others

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My oldest daughter in her early teens caused me a great many problems—this was in the mid-1990s. Coincidentally at that time, Lifeline featured a series of articles on various Traditions.

During one of my weekly phone calls with my sponsor, I mentioned those Lifeline articles. She suggested I go through the Traditions and see how many of them applied to my daughter. I went back and reread Lifeline, then read the Traditions that helped shed some light on my relationship with my daughter. It took time to heal what was going on, but through the years, our relationship has changed to a much closer and loving one.

I’ve learned that the Traditions are good for more than conducting business in a group: they help us in relationships that matter. In the Big Book story “Acceptance was the Answer,” it says, “I had the lenses in my glasses backwards; the “courage to change” in the Serenity Prayer meant not that I should change my marriage, but rather that I should change myself and learn to accept my spouse as she was” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. 419).

I can apply this to my relationship with my daughter and to other relationships, but I’ve learned it’s also about feelings, not just thinking.

— S.S., Sunnyvale, California USA

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