June 15, 2024

Finding and Extending Acceptance

Page 172

"Regardless of who we are, where we've been, or what we've done, we find in Narcotics Anonymous a place of empathy, acceptance, welcome, and belonging."

Guiding Principles, Tradition Two, "Spiritual Principles"

When we get to NA, so many of us are thinking, Oh, man, what happens when they find out I did THAT?

Or maybe it's What if they find out I wasn't THAT bad?

Either way, and everywhere in between, most of us come to Narcotics Anonymous in fear. We are afraid of being judged for who we are and what we've done. We're concerned we'll be asked, "Why are you here?" There would be no point in answering that question since we're already convinced that we'll be misunderstood. We fear that we won't belong in NA, and in many cases, we hope that we don't, so we can carry on using and not have to face our problems.

Instead of being denied entry, we hear that the only requirement for us to belong is a desire to stop using. All the group wants to know is what we want to do about our problem and how they can help. No one asks us for our addiction resume.

If we said that we leave all judgments at the door, we'd be kidding ourselves. We are human beings, after all. Instead, despite our judgments, our differences, and our histories, we are welcomed and accepted. People have compassion for us, and it seems genuine.

Later, we begin to see ourselves in newcomers. We empathize with them and welcome them just as we were welcomed. They are enveloped in the love members show one another as they learn to love and accept themselves.

———     ———     ———     ———     ———

NA accepted me. Today I will ask myself, "What can I do to be more welcoming to my fellow addict?"

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