Happy 37th Birthday To CoDA!

From: "CoDA Announcements" <codalist@codependents.org>
Date: October 23rd 2023


Yesterday, we celebrated CoDA’s 37th Birthday

As we celebrated this important day, we remember our Founders Ken and Mary. We are thankful for all they have brought to CoDA!

Given this is the “Year of Unity” we asked them to share their thoughts on Tradition 1.


Ken and Mary’s thoughts on Co-Dependents Anonymous Tradition One “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity.”

Our common welfare should come first.

If we are looking at ourselves individually, each of our definitions of what our common welfare is may be different. We may have different boundaries, needs, self-care and how we approach and engage our recoveries.

In service work, our common welfare needs to be something that allows for safety for all to have a voice, loving acceptance of each other even if we don't agree, knowing that there is a Higher Power and that we are allowing our Higher Power to work through us as well as others.

Codependence is a conflict in God's meaning that we will make people places, feelings and things are higher power or we will become a higher power to others. Either way we give our personal power away to something outside of ourselves and stay unconscious of our Higher Power.

An example may be when someone has the “need” to bring in outside literature they were impacted by. That person may feel that everyone would benefit from this book or information just as they did. They may project their “need” onto their CoDA group and try to convince others of the importance of the book. All their intentions may be well meaning, but the result is that it is not of CoDA by CoDA and can confuse the newcomer or the regular meeting attendee as to what CoDA is all about.

The Traditions keep CoDA safe for all to attend. We can share with others outside of a meeting outside literature, authors, workshops, etc., just not in the safety of our CoDA meeting. In this case “my” common welfare is different from “our” common welfare. In CoDA service, “our” common welfare helps CoDA to stay intentional of keeping CoDA safe, loving and caring of each individual that attends.

Personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity.

My recovery is necessary for me to stay integrated with my Higher Power and myself. It gives me a set of tools to use should my codependence surface. Besides being a conflict in gods, codependence is also a fear addiction. Codependence is how we are fearful relationally whether that is with ourselves or others. Over time this fear becomes compulsive and then addictive. We see this in our Patterns and Characteristics, in our 4th Steps and in our 10th Steps.

If we are in our codependence, then we are playing god or making others our god. We are in fear of doing it right, saying it right, making others hear our truth, controlling others to see it our way, etc. etc. At those times we have stepped out of our “common welfare” and out of healthy loving “unity”. Another way to say this is, if we are controlling, being compliant, avoidant, denying our codependence or in low self esteem then we will “need” an outcome that will “fix” us. We then become self-focused and self-centered instead of focusing on “CoDA Unity” and “Our Common Welfare”.

Each person in CoDA deserves a voice. What is important is for each of us to practice healthy communication when we have our voice, meaning we communicate without putting anyone else down. In addition, what is equally important for those listening is to allow the person their healthy communication voice without trying to silence them or control them or put them down in any way. We do not have to agree with one another, we just need to lovingly respect each other and know that each person is doing the best they can do. For all disagreements, we have our 12 Traditions to guide us, and we have the Group Conscious Vote to make our decisions.

Focusing on our “Common Welfare” and the striving for working harmoniously together for the good of CoDA brings a spiritually based “Unity” within CoDA. As with everything, it begins with us and our personal recoveries.



CoDA Board of Trustees



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