Home Steps Generous, Willing, and Responsible

Generous, Willing, and Responsible

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Studying and working the Seventh Tradition has been one of the most important gifts of my recovery from the disease of compulsive eating. Learning to do my part has taught me how to behave responsibly in all aspects of my life. Truly, I hadn’t known that doing a service or making a donation could be the pathway for me to live each day feeling happy, joyous, and free. Whether I am opening a meeting room, serving on the board of my intergroup, or making a financial contribution, our Seventh Tradition has helped me heal on the inside. This active participation enables my Higher Power to guide me toward the next indicated right action, one day at a time. I’ve received so many benefits:

  • greater commitment to my recovery
  • feeling “a part of” rather than “apart from”
  • enjoying an inner serenity for having taken positive action
  • knowing I am actively giving back what I have so generously been given
  • accepting that my life depends upon my OA recovery
  • smiling each time my monthly Automatic Recurring Contribution (ARC) appears on my credit card statement as “Rio Rancho”

I have visited our amazing World Service Office and warehouse in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. I’ve talked with our gracious office staff and seen our literature neatly stacked by category and translated into more than thirty languages. I am awed by what Overeaters Anonymous has given me and continues to give to people around the globe. It’s comforting to know I’m contributing to OA as it reaches out to others around the world who suffer as I once suffered.

A few years ago, our world service Board of Trustees distributed a table card that encouraged members to contribute at least US$3 to the Seventh Tradition collection in each meeting. It depicts a grocery cart filled to the brim and asks the question, “Last binge?” The answer is: “$$$.” The next message is, “Abstinence? Priceless!” I felt tears come to my eyes as I recalled the huge amount of dollars my binges had cost every week through almost twenty-five years of bulimia. That table card gently and kindly reminded me just how priceless my abstinence is. My Higher Power helped me increase my monthly contribution to Overeaters Anonymous. I used the Automatic Recurring Contribution option (by selecting “Make this a recurring gift”) at oa.org/contribute to add to my ARC. I also increased the amount I give at the Seventh Tradition collection at my meetings.

The more recovery I’ve received, the more I desire. Giving back is one way I make Ninth Step amends to myself; it helps me forgive myself for the wrongs my illness caused me and others. Today, I feel generous, willing, open-minded, and responsible because I do my part. Seventh Tradition has taught me another way to fulfill our Responsibility Pledge: “Always to extend the hand and heart of OA to all who share my compulsion; for this I am responsible.” I give because my life depends on it.

— Cathy L.

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