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Principled Decisions

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Our intergroup is quite small and the same people seem to switch hats at election time. (This is quite common in some intergroups, I know.) But after I served two terms in one position, with a break in between to serve in a different position, I declined at election time to serve in the coming year.

It was a tortuous decision. To deal with the angst I felt, I journaled, prayed, and talked with my sponsor. The Spiritual Principle that enabled me to step away was anonymity, knowing that I am one among many. The feeling that I am needed can trigger my ego and my childhood issues of being overly responsible: if something needed to be done, then I was the one to do it.

I am not saying that I was that important to my intergroup—please read these words through a filter of healthy boundaries. Letting go of my fear of what could happen to my intergroup had to be inventoried, shared, and given over to my Higher Power and my intergroup’s Higher Power. (They survived just fine, by the way.)

Growing to take a new service position that was out of my comfort zone was also quite a process of discernment for me. I have heard the suggestion that if a service position is open and there is no obvious reason I cannot at least volunteer to be considered, then I should raise my hand. But making the decision to volunteer for an unfamiliar position was also difficult. I talked a lot with others who had served in that position, and of course, my sponsor and a temporary service sponsor. Thoughts of making mistakes or not knowing what I thought I was somehow supposed to know terrified me, but again, the Spiritual Principles that helped me were faith (Step Three), courage (Step Four), perseverance (Step Ten), trust (Tradition Two), responsibility (Tradition Seven), selflessness (Concept Twelve(a)), and of course, service (Step Twelve).

I have learned that we are never alone in this Fellowship; there are always people to help you, and no one judges you. Where but in a Twelve Step program like Overeaters Anonymous would you receive such support and encouragement?

— J., Colorado USA

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