Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. – Tradition Tweleve
Traditions Twelve clarifies that CoDA is a spiritual program and that “anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions.” Further, anonymity is the base for us to operate from in our meetings and groups, thereby placing “principles before personalities.” Doing this protects our program. Simply stated, without anonymity CoDA’s structure will fall apart.
In Tradition Eleven, we talked about the meaning of maintaining anonymity in our public relations policy. Now, in Tradition Twelve, we look at coming together in our meetings and CoDA service work with the spirit of anonymity. Being anonymous may include not only keeping our last names private, but also where we live, how much money we make, and what we do for a living. This reduces the possibility of personally judging others and ourselves. Because social, economic, and political differences are not identified within the Fellowship, every member can focus on recovery from codependency. We have unique opportunity to listen and work with people who have the same goal. With the boundary of anonymity, we are reminded that we come together for one primary purpose, to carry the message of recovery to codependents who still suffer.
Anonymity creates safety because it establishes an environment where we can speak with less fear of being judged or quoted. As one member shared,”I’ve has the painful experience of being judged by others. Now, in my program, I can make a choice not to behave in that same judgmental way. I remember that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. When I listen, consider, and accept, then I know I have heard the principle of what was said.” When we honor the concept of anonymity, we place “principles before personalities.” Thus, we listen to what is said, not who is saying it. We don’t bring our personal agendas to CoDA; we bring our concern of recovery from codependency. “Spiritual” is not defined within our program. Therefore, each member’s path or belief is welcome; CoDA is completely inclusive.
Tradition Twelve teaches us to adhere to all of our Traditions by placing the principles of our Traditions before personalities. When we keep this principle first and foremost, CoDA can maintain a healthy existence. The Traditions teach each member and group of Co-Dependents Anonymous how to protect our anonymous, spiritual, and inclusive Fellowship.