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Corporate Conscience

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When I came into OA about thirty-three years ago, I was working for an important corporation. It just amazed me that our OA meetings were very much more efficient and effective than corporate meetings. Corporate meetings, with all their power, resources, and experience, should have been the better in my mind. But I observed differently, and here is what I learned.

Everyone in an OA meeting is there seeking the same thing: recovery from compulsive eating. We buy into the running of the meeting by adhering to its meeting format. Is that meeting format something that was created by any hierarchy in OA? No, meeting formats have been gleaned from group consciences over the years. Individual meetings can modify a format if they so decide through group conscience, as long as the Steps and Traditions are upheld. By following our meeting formats, we are giving authority to a loving God as he expresses himself in our group conscience.

We trust the process because we see ourselves and other members recovering from eating compulsively. I remember when a local therapist attended an OA meeting. She considered herself an expert who was generously lending her knowledge to the meeting. It was apparent, however, that this didn’t work. The only authority in our meeting is a loving God. And the OA structure is such that we, through the group conscience process of listening to all and making informed choices, are able to follow our loving God.

OA does not depend upon leaders who are experts with credentials to lead meetings. We are all just compulsive eaters willing to take direction from God through our group conscience. I enjoy being amazed, over and over, by being part of a Fellowship that respects its Traditions. I can be sure that any OA meeting I venture into will take its authority from a loving God as described in Tradition Two.

Carrie A., Centralia, Washington USA

Help make your meeting stronger by considering OA’s group support documents during your next group conscience. Review the many guidelines and suggestions for groups found at oa.org/documents under “Group Support” and discuss what changes could be made to better carry the message of recovery in your group.

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