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Wisdom of the Traditions
Anonymity: A Spiritual Foundation
Reflection. When we first read in Tradition 12 that anonymity is a spiritual foundation, we may be confused. Why is this principle spiritual? Why is it so important as to be the foundation for all our Traditions? When we read the other traditions, we say "how can this be?"
At first, we don't even understand the most basic facts about our addiction. We think we can go back to gaming someday, moderate. Or that we didn't cause much damage. We think that our lives are our own, that we have a "right" to game as much as we please. And that when we stop, our problems will disappear.
As we continue in recovery, we find that whatever the causes of our addiction (which we may not know), it has created in us a spiritual problem: a terrible self-centeredness, manifesting as selfishness, pride, self-pity, fear, compulsion and need for approval. Our lack of moderation, inability to stay quit, denial, neglect of everything but games--all comes from this. As we take our moral inventory, we begin to understand the depth and breadth what our disease has done. We see how much help we need.
In recovery, this self-centeredness begins to fade. We admit our mistakes, seek help. Our connection with our higher power brings us a new perspective, a new purpose. We see that it's not about us; we replace self-centeredness with service to others.
Anonymity then becomes vital. We used to feel that we need credit, recognition or approval. In fact, we now see that these things are toxic for us, because they feed our self-centeredness. Anonymity deprives our self-centeredness of its natural food: the deadly comparison of one with another, the power of those "in charge," the cult of personality found everywhere else.
Anonymity is why there is only one "level" of membership in the OLGA fellowship, based on a desire to stop gaming. It is why our primary purpose is to carry the message to those who still suffer--our recovery is for them, and for our higher power, not to impress anyone. It is why we are never to organize, but remain non-professional, why our service boards must be accountable only to the Fellowship. It is why we don't lend our name or promote any cause at all. We recover together, not alone. We welcome newcomers and share our experience, because they are us. Our anonymity supports our humility; the principles of the program are more important than any specific person.
History is filled with the stories of self-help fellowship that fell apart, that died, because they lacked these Traditions. Anonymity keeps our self-centeredness at bay. Truly it is a spiritual foundation.
Questions: Have I tried to promote myself, or the fellowship of OLGA? Have I kept clear of broadcasting my membership outside the fellowship? Have I placed principles before personalities?
Action: Today, I will not talk about other members. Instead, my conversation will focus on recovery.
Prayer: May I learn to practice humility and anonymity, avoiding self-centeredness in all its forms.
I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict. My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.