Step 2 of the 12 Steps is about hope, there is an answer and this answer is a Power Greater than Ourselves.
We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
This was an especially hard step for me. When I came into recovery I had a spiritual hole in me and I am not in the slightest religious. Being told that a Higher Power can relieve me of the need to use and to help me in my recovery was a massive challenge for me.
These challenges are not unique to me, there are lots of addicts that are not religious. Or perhaps they were and are now angry with God for allowing them to be addicts.
What is Step 2 About?
Step 2 simply teaches us that there is a Higher Power that can restore us to sanity if we work the steps and follow the 12 Step Program. Our insanity is that we kept doing the same things expecting different results.
We learn what is meant by a Higher Power. 12 Step programs are spiritual, not religious. Your Higher Power is personal to you and this step will help you to connect with your Higher Power. This step is not so much focused on what your Higher Power is for you, but more on what your Higher Power can do for you.
During our addiction we had no hope. We did the same destructive things over and over again, the results were the same. When we start coming to 12 Step meetings we see other addicts that are clean and living a full life in recovery. We hear these addicts share about their addiction and where it took them, how they worked the program and got clean. We learn that we too can achieve this.
Even though we feel pain when we are stripped of our denial, this feeling is replaced with hope for the future.
Step 2 also teaches us about our insanity. During our active addiction we believed we could control our using even though it was very clear we couldn’t. We look at how we made bad decisions and how our lives were out of balance.
Most of us have barriers, preventing us from believing in a Higher Power. These barriers are addressed during this step. We look at what is holding us back and what we do believe in. Often we have a clearer idea of what a Higher Power is not, than what a Higher Power is.
The next focus point in this step is restoration to sanity. Through being clean for a short period of time and starting to work the program we are able to make better decisions. We have a better perspective and are able to see that we do have a decision about the choices me make and the way we act. As we grow in recovery our understanding of sanity changes. It is important to realise that just because we have stopped using does not mean all our old destructive ways are miraculously gone. Restoration to sanity is a process and will take some time.
Spiritual Principles of Step 2
- Open-mindedness: we open our minds to the fact that we cannot do this alone, that we need help.
- Willingness: to go to meetings, to work with our sponsor, to listen to other addicts’ stories, to do things we might previously have been unwilling to do.
- Faith: we have to act as if we have faith. We don’t have to be dishonest but faith is not something that appears overnight.
- Trust: we need to trust in the program and that the pain we will feel during this time we can get through.
- Humility: we stop relying on our own thinking and begin to ask for help.
When I started Step 2 I struggled with it and was full of self will, which is the opposite of God’s will. I was told by my sponsor that if I can’t believe in God I must find something to believe and trust in. She suggested I use the 12 Step meetings and members as my Higher Power to start with. This was a big step for me and it worked wonders in my life.
Please leave a comment if you are needing help with Step 2 or if you have anything you would like to add.