Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (*)
Once you’ve come to terms with being powerless over your addiction to a substance or a drug, it sometimes feels hopeless. The question is, of course, ‘what’s next?’
What’s next is Step 2 which is the beginning of a faith that works to help you let go of the addiction and step into the whole person you’re meant to be. The step really comes in three parts:
- Becoming willing to believe.
- Recognizing and accepting the insanity of our addiction.
- Starting to trust.
Let’s take them one-by-one:
Becoming willing to believe
Traditionally, ‘came to believe that a Power’ refers to starting to accept the concept of a God or Higher Power. Was there ever a more controversial proposition? Wars have been, and are still being fought over various ideas about religion.
Which is why it’s so important to understand that 12 Step programs are not about religion! There is room for those who believe and those who are only willing to believe sometime if it seems right to them. Many people begin a successful recovery by coming to trust the group, or some symbol of something larger than themselves, like a light bulb.
The idea is to start to understand you can’t do this alone, or all by yourself. And that there is most likely something in existence that’s larger than yourself. A program friend of mine, who is one of the most spiritual people I know, is an atheist. She believes in what she calls a benign universe.
Of course, many who come into Program already have faith. In these cases the 12 Steps often leads them to a more effective and deeper faith.
So, if you don’t believe right now, take a deep breath and stop fighting this. Just be willing, that’s all. Which is why there’s a whole chapter in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous also known as the Big Book, called “We Agnostics.”
Recognizing and accepting the insanity of our addiction
The notion that we addicts are insane offends many until they take a close look at their behavior when using. It’s also important to recognize that Step 1 is NOT trying to tell us we are mad or technically nuts. It’s just when we’re practicing our addiction or acting out that our actions make little or no sense. And we keep repeating the using hoping for different results.
It’s very much like putting your hand on the hot stove over and over again and expecting not to get burned. That’s not rational by any standard. Nor is drinking or using to excess over and over again.
If you doubt this part of Step 2, just glance around you and see what’s working and what’s not. Chances are you’ll start to accept the insanity that Step 2 is talking about, maybe even with some relief.
Starting to trust
Starting to trust that there is a solution to your problems through the 12 Steps. That trust is in something other than yourself. It may be the group, or your concept of a Higher Power if you have one or just a willingness to trust something. It’s better not to trust just one other person, like a sponsor because we’re all fallible.
It really doesn’t matter how shaky or confused you’re beginning to believe is at this point. As you progress it will get clearer. Once you’ve got even a tiny belief in something other than you you’re ready for Step 3.
Love and blessings,