(Adapted for personal use from Courage to Change in Alanon.)
Our traditions help me put important principles to work in my relationships with friends in and out of the program.
I am presently witnessing a sponsee who is in the middle of great changes.
I would have been inclined to call her current situation a crisis. In the hindsight of time, this will just be another growth opportunity if she can detach with love. I know I want to fix it, question her choices and even tell her that she is making a mistake! But she is not seeking my advice. I can only witness and not judge. I am not her. Only if honor my boundaries and keep my advice for my use only, am I am doing my job as sponsor.
Tradition 2 says the only authority is a loving God, and that person is not me. I am but a servant. My sponsees main counsel is with God. If she has shared her inventory with me, I can advise, but only if she asks for it.
As there are no groups in her area, I am her sole emissary of our Program. Tradition 5 tells me that my purpose is to carry program's message to those still suffering emotional difficulties. In being my sponsee's sole contact for our program, I can have no opinion on outside issues. What if I think that her drama is demonstrating that indeed step one is the only active step being practiced. I can speak up and say that. Otherwise, her drama can be seen as such an outside issue, if program cannot be directly applied or discussed as she shares with me.
According to tradition 8, what I give, must be non-professional. This actually helps me to detach a bit more easily. I am not a counselor or therapist; my services are priceless, given freely from my heart, and their focus is limited to what I know about my own practice of the Program.
Progress for the greatest number depends on unity of purpose, according to tradition 1. That tradition also states that our common welfare comes first, and individual welfare follows close behind. There are times when the greatest good is to put myself first, make sure I have my own health taken care of, so that I can serve successfully in my role as sponsor. Such was the case for me earlier this week, and it may be again soon.
As this is a program of the heart, I need to honor my heartfelt wishes, as I do my priceless work. I must remember, the main reason I am here, is for my own health. I can share my boundaries, and respect them myself, when I decline to be involved in a sponsee's drama, keeping my heart open and kind.