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Acceptance Without Issue

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During any political election, I am especially thankful for OA’s Tradition Ten: “Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues.” I know I can go to a meeting and no one will talk about the candidates or the issues. I am very aware that some members are strongly supporting a policy that is different than mine. At other occasions outside OA meetings, there could be discussion of these differing ideas. I can listen without comment. I choose to avoid getting into controversy.

Other non-OA topics have come into conversations between members when outside OA meetings. Yet, during the OA meeting, each member respects Tradition Ten and keeps it free of this type of discussion. The purpose of Overeaters Anonymous is sharing the message of recovery from compulsive eating. We can learn the Twelve Steps and how to implement them in our lives. We have the Traditions to keep us from missing opportunities to reach another compulsive eater. As I share my OA experience, I don’t need to share personal, political, religious, or sectarian opinions.

There was once a member who felt very strongly about her religion. She considered quitting OA because she did not feel comfortable thinking she’d have to avoid all her religious ideas to be a member. After studying Tradition Ten, she realized that OA has no opinion on outside issues. She did not need to change her beliefs; others would accept her as she was. OA meetings kept her connected with people who desired to stop eating compulsively, so her recovery continued and she became a dedicated member. She later shared how her faith had kept her coming. She knew that others did not have that same faith, but the program worked for them also. We do feel accepted completely when we remember Tradition Ten.

— Anonymous

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