North Olympic Peninsula Area Narcotics Anonymous

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Traditions Book

The following is an excerpt from the NA publication “Guiding Principles: The Spirit of Our Traditions”

Guiding Principles

  Our Twelve Traditions are about relationships: with ourselves, our groups, our service bodies, and our Higher Power. While they address our practices in service, they also provide a foundation for us to learn how to live. They are practical and spiritual at the same time. Our Traditions help us to navigate: They remind us where we are going and where we are likely to run aground. They also remind us that we steer our own ship. Unity and autonomy guide us, not uniformity and governance. We surrender authority to a Higher Power and come together as equals. Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the addict who still suffers. If we are to accomplish that, we need recovery ourselves, and we need to come together in unity to build the groups and provide the services that make recovery available to us all. We need every principle, every resource, and every member.

  Humility, empathy, and love are keys to selfless service, and selfless service frees us from the self-centeredness at the core of our disease. Yet many of us who have tried to recover on service alone find, sooner or later, that without doing the hard work of the Twelve Steps, we don’t have tools to live by these principles. We need the Steps if we are to follow the Traditions – and we need the Traditions to create an atmosphere in which we find the love, safety, and anonymity necessary to work the Steps.

  Together, our Steps and Traditions allow us to grow and thrive, to interact with others, and to sustain ourselves through difficulty. These spiritual principles and practices can guide us in our decisions in service and throughout our lives. Although we all have different ways of connecting with and learning about the Traditions, we can all agree that these are the principles that keep us alive and free.
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