Narcotics Anonymous Way of Life

~ 2012 Form ~

When It Works: 12 Basics
Twelve Principles of NA


"Sharing and caring is the active and passive forms of love
that keeps us alive and allows God to use us as instruments."

The spiritual principle of sharing occurs when we our spoken word provides an addict with hope. Each member shares in our a special way from the beginning of recovery. Sharing is the follow through that takes place after caring begins. It validates the NA promise: freedom from active addiction for any addict who thoroughly applies these principles that are embedded in the twelve steps of Narcotics Anonymous. Sharing takes place between addicts with a who have a desire for recovery. They share their passion for the program that has been saving their lives on a daily basis. Through working the twelve steps of Narcotics Anonymous with a sponsor and living the principles in them, the spiritual principle of caring for another addict is the feeling that brings about incidents of sharing. Caring for other addicts should be the sole intention of sharing . We share our experience, strength, and hope so that others can find a new way of life. Sharing with others is demonstrating through action that we care.

Anonymity from Step Twelve is the absence of labeling, possessing the beauty of acknowledging our Higher Power as the primary force in our lives. It creates the environment we need to recovery. We can shed old labels that may no longer apply. However, our personality remains to dilute the experience with the idea that we must of our "having to run the show." With ego set aside, the spirit within us is allowed to emerge untainted by selfish desire. We can experience the miracle of personality change enhanced by anonymity, freedom from labels that applied to us in our past.

Regardless of how far addiction has taken them down, newcomers are welcomed. The only requirement for membership is their desire to stop using, remain clean and live a new way of life. We let newcomers know that any addict can get clean, loose the desire to use, and find a new way of life. Few of us are comfortable judging the newcomer's sincerity. It is when they share their pain brought on by active addiction that they begin to gain our respect. Our terrific ability to mask who and what we are from intruding eyes is an ability we retain in recovery. It is part of our survival skills. Far too often, the assessment between one or two members has been crucial in a newcomer's recovery. Fortunately, it only takes one to carry our message. This is part of the awakening experience of our Twelfth Step, an element of the step's maturation as we grow. Applications of principles are endless. Our need for surrender, hope, faith, trust, unconditional love, and all of the other principles belief, inventory, confiding, letting-go, and amends help us builds healthy lives. Our inability to live such principles is a measure result of our illness.

Among all our principles, we find ideas like inclusiveness, openness, trust, helpfulness, selfless-giving, and caring help offset our addict's tendency to do the opposite. Our self-destructiveness opposes the principles that bring peace and happiness to the willing. These words are from the recovery language within NA. The currency of our program is a language born of deep, applied love and commitment that has endured great pain and hardship.

We become aware that our program results from a huge amount of deliberate, consistent effort on the part of all of our members. As the hours of scheduled meetings approaches, how many thousands of automobiles are started for the express purpose of attending an NA meeting? How many light switches are thrown and chairs arranged to seat our multitude? In a day, how many hours do members share? Travel in the Fellowship is convincing because we hear the same principles working for other people, far from where we live. Change comes to members exposed to the greater NA beyond the boundaries of their local Fellowship.

Ultimately, if we are passionate about our recovery, we find ourselves staying clean and living the Narcotics Anonymous Way of Life. we find our in our own way. Narcotics Anonymous is the gathering of addicts who desire to stay clean and grow spiritually on a daily basis. Many ideas, experiments, changes, conflicts, polarization and failures are filtered through tests of application that produce our Program. When they work, they extend our ability to apply the NA program. If not, we move on, leaving behind what does not work. With our emphasis on sharing and caring, we have a life. After our needs are met _ food, shelter, clothing and solvency - crisis may siphon time from these things yet we discovery we return to them to keep our house in order. Our loved ones needs are reasonable and must come first. After living requirements are met we have the opportunity to selflessly give by sharing. This sharing happens as the fruit of our existence, however restricted or marginal. Our sharing is not a benefit of the material world, it is a benefit of the spirit. Generosity is the nature of our loving God, as we share an opportunity to reflect divine calm and trust.

Spiritual principles can seem tenuous or wishy-washy to those who have little experience with them. Their strength comes out as we apply them in our everyday lives and emergencies. It may be a fixation on reality that makes an otherwise delusional person successful. In secret, this person may also be a great giver. Spiritual principles are more real than the rationales used to justify our active addiction. Many doors closed to us will now open only yield after we apply spiritual principles.

How often have we seen a member in the midst of a glowing recovery succumb to greed, lust, pride, avarice, envy, hatred or anger? However convincingly they justify their actions, they all run into impassable obstacles. Nor can they overcome obstacles by applying more force or arguing the correctness of their position. We share about remaining stuck until we surrender to our powerlessness. We share how the application of this principle works in all areas of our lives. Constantly living by spiritual principles demonstrates an exhibits as awakened spirit. During times of hardship we sit in silent wonder over the beauty in our lives and the company we share. We endure without making things worse, each time discovering an area wherein we lack surrender, discovering a truth in the situation and growing a little freer, while aligning ourselves with the powerful force that works for us. Sharing and caring what is really going on in our lives It is neither defeat nor an end to our pursuit of happiness. It is the way to happiness. This is life on life's terms. When one member shares about their struggles and then comes back the next week with the solution, other addicts benefit from their experience when they too are put into the same situation.

Spiritual reality does not apologize for its ways. Without it, there would be no escape. The delusions or our disease produce defects that arrest growth. Most obstacles would have been simple were we not addicts. Our disease complicated our thinking and or prevented us from learning from after making simple mistakes. a timely, clear lesson. So, instead of learning from these mistakes, we failed to grow up. All those countless days when we could have been acquiring or practicing skills that would equip us to live life on life's terms, we were wasted. The marvel is that through recovery we regain what has been lost. We might not regain Maybe not everything immediately but we do get enough freedom in the beginning enough to be grateful. And As our gratitude grows, our capacity to accept responsibility and be honest qualifies us for more good things in our lives. Caring and sharing helps us turn the corner from being a taker to being a giver with a reasonable interest in the well being of others.

Through sharing and caring we gain the ability to do for others what was once done for us. We can each remember the patience and love that kept us coming back. Now, awakened and based in principles, we carry the message of hope and recovery. This is as crucial for someone working a Twelfth Step as studying and grasping the disease concept in the First Step. We cannot remain clean without it.

Personally seeking to make one's mark in NA entitles the member to a series of unnecessary mistakes. Caring and sharing suspends our personal agenda. Through loving service, caring and sharing, and applying the other principles we’ve acquired in Narcotics , God allows us to grow beyond our wildest dreams. When we care and then share to help the still sick and suffering addict, we add hope to their lives. The miracle occurs when the same addicts who came to the group miserable with a few days clean come to the same group after working some steps and share that they too have lost the desire to use and have found a new way of life! Sharing and caring in Narcotics Anonymous is a contagious action. continue to work the steps. This puts ourselves into the wisdom of a clear, open spirit of goodwill and sensibility. in the service of abiding in the spirit. Our Fellowship will endure. continue to care and share so that others will keep receiving the miracles of recovery!


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Reprinted from the 
Narcotics Anonymous Way of Life, 
Traditions War: a pathway to peace,
The Spirit of NA 
or NA Twenty Plus

being edited on this site.

Copyright © December 1998
Victor Hugo Sewell, Jr.

NA Foundation Group
6685 Bobby John Road Atlanta, GA 30349 USA


All rights reserved. This draft may be copied by members of Narcotics Anonymous for the purpose of writing input for future drafts, enhancing the recovery of NA members and for the general welfare of the Narcotics Anonymous Fellowship as a whole. The use of an individual name is simply a registration requirement of the Library of Congress and not a departure from the spirit or letter of the Pledge, Preface or Introduction of this book. Any reproduction by individuals or organizations outside the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous is prohibited. Any reproduction of this document for personal or corporate monetary gain is prohibited.