Placing principles before personalities is a tradition that is almost as old as the recovery movement itself. When we are in contact with the broken, which is all of us, there is always the possibility that personalities are going to clash. People in recovery are oftentimes not the easiest people to get along with. Most of us come into recovery with all of our baggage and dump it in the middle of the meetings we attend. We can be difficult people to love. Thankfully, we have a Savior who loves us despite our baggage and shows us how to love others the way He loves others.
The 12th Step asks us to practice the principles of recovery in all our affairs. We notice that the Step says to practice the principles. It doesn’t say apply, or make it happen, or be perfect with the principles. We practice the principles of recovery because we are going to fall short when it comes to demonstrating the principles of recovery to everyone we meet.
If we are feeling disillusionment or resentment towards others, it might mean that we are not practicing the principles of recovery. The principles of recovery include honesty, humility, compassion, tolerance, patience, love, and grace. Putting principles before personalities will teach us to treat everyone as Jesus treated others. We learn to love the person who comes into recovery, weighed down with baggage. Through the principles of recovery, we can separate the person from the baggage.
Written by Jackell.