“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
The moment they read Step Two, most A.A. newcomers are confronted with a dilemma, sometimes a serious one. How often have we heard them cry out, “Look what you people have done to us! You have convinced us that we are alcoholics and that our lives are unmanageable. Having reduced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a Higher Power can remove our obsession. Some of us won’t believe in God, others can’t, and still others who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever He will perform this miracle. Yes, you’ve got us over the barrel, all right—but where do we go from here?”
Step Two is a step of hope for a return to the happy and healthy lifestyle we once had. It builds faith that a higher power can help restore us to sanity and allow us to continue through the Steps toward addiction recovery. The book of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions explains, “Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step.” Even though this mentions individuals of all beliefs, some addicts struggle with the idea of looking to “a Power great than ourselves” to help restore us to sanity. This is because the “Power” at first glance refers to God, and not everyone is on the same religious path. It is important to remember that 12 Step programs are spiritual, not religious.
Individuals going through the Steps are not required to accept God as the “Power greater than ourselves,“ but can describe or understand their greater Power in any way they wish. Step Two is less about God and religion and more about accepting the help you need. That help can come from a faith in God, 12 Step support groups, family and friends, therapy, or AA/NA meetings and members.
Working Step Two
The only way to be successful in working Step Two is to actually begin accepting the help you need. This process often begins when you find your “higher power.”
Answering the following questions can help do this:
- Did your family claim a certain religion growing up?
- What are the positive and negative aspects of your family religion?
- Do you still practice your family’s religion, or are you seeking help from a different area?
- What people in your life have helped you discover the unmanageability of your life?
- What did you like best about your childhood best friends and what did they like best about you?Are these important qualities that would make for a good “higher power” to help you?
- What do you want from your “higher power?”
- Can you learn to trust the individual or group you choose?
Once you have chosen your “higher power” you can start accepting help from that power and move to Step Three. Accepting help from others in your journey to addiction recovery is very important, and you will soon see its effectiveness as you move through the rest of the Steps.