Just For Today | June 24 | Tolerance

“Ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.”
Tradition Twelve

Understanding Tolerance in Recovery

Recovery is a shared journey where we learn not only from our own experiences but also from observing others. This interaction can sometimes be challenging, especially when we encounter the character defects of fellow members. These defects can make it difficult to accept others as they are, yet doing so is crucial for both personal growth and community harmony.

Principles Over Personalities

Tradition Twelve advises us to place principles before personalities, emphasizing the importance of values over individual traits. This perspective encourages us to look beyond the surface and recognize the shared commitment to recovery. By focusing on principles like tolerance, love, and acceptance, we can navigate the complexities of interpersonal relationships within our recovery community.

Observing and Learning

As we engage in meetings and listen to others share their experiences, we also observe how they manage their recovery. This dual approach—listening and watching—provides a fuller picture of their journey. It’s natural to form opinions about how others “work their program,” and sometimes, we might feel frustrated or judgmental.

For instance, you might think, “If I worked their program, I would surely use!” Such thoughts can be detrimental to our progress. Instead, we should strive to understand that everyone has their unique path and pace in recovery. Their approach might differ from ours, but it is no less valid.

Embracing Tolerance

Tolerance is a vital principle in recovery. It not only strengthens our personal journey but also enhances our relationships with others, even those who irritate us. Accepting others’ frailties becomes easier when we acknowledge our own. We rarely address our character defects until we are painfully aware of them. This self-awareness fosters empathy and patience towards others.

Practical Steps to Cultivate Tolerance

  1. Self-Reflection: Regularly reflect on your own character defects and how you are working to overcome them. This practice can increase your empathy towards others.
  2. Active Listening: When others share, listen without judgment. Focus on their words and the emotions behind them, rather than forming immediate opinions.
  3. Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness to stay present and avoid reacting negatively to others’ behaviors. This can help you maintain a balanced perspective.
  4. Community Engagement: Engage with your recovery community outside of meetings. Building personal connections can foster understanding and acceptance.
  5. Focus on Principles: Remind yourself of the core principles of recovery, such as love, acceptance, and tolerance. Let these guide your interactions.

The Power of Love and Acceptance

Love and acceptance are foundational principles that underpin successful recovery. By focusing on these values, we can create a supportive environment that encourages growth and healing. This involves not just accepting others but also accepting ourselves with all our imperfections.

Just for Today

Just for today, strive to accept others as they are. Avoid judging them and instead focus on the principles of love and acceptance. This commitment to tolerance can transform your recovery journey, making it richer and more fulfilling.


Tolerance is more than just enduring others’ flaws; it’s about embracing a compassionate and understanding attitude that benefits both personal recovery and community harmony. By prioritizing principles over personalities, we can build a supportive, empathetic recovery environment. Just for today, let’s commit to this practice and witness its positive impact on our lives and those around us.


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