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I love all of the 12 steps of AA, but step two is the one that gives us hope. With step two we learn that we are not alone, and that something greater than ourselves can help to conquer addiction and despair.
Becoming a sober person, free of your addictions means a restoration to sanity. In AA we learn that by working the 12 steps the restoration is happening in part because addiction and it’s accompanying insanity are not controlling our lives anymore.
All of the words of the 12 steps are very specifically chosen, which is another thing I really love about working with them. The second step doesn’t say “We came to believe in a power greater than ourselves” it says “We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” That’s the beauty–we are invited to begin to think about what our higher power can be.
The emphasis is not on who or what the power is, but on what the power can do for us. The group of AA itself certainly qualifies as a power greater than ourselves (our fellowship is in the millions and always growing) as do the spiritual principles contained in the 12 steps.
The awareness and understanding that we can’t recover alone and that we need some kind of help is really the lesson at this point in recovery. The spiritual principles that are the foundation of this step are open mindedness, willingness, faith, trust and humility. It really doesn’t matter whether we have any idea of how this power greater than ourselves is going to help, just that we come to believe it is possible.
As part of a recovery process it’s really helpful to ask and answer important questions pertaining to step two; questions about insanity coming to believe, a power greater than ourselves, restoration to sanity and spiritual principles:
I have come to believe that by being in the fellowship of AA, with the aid of the 12 steps, that I can walk through the painful times in recovery knowing that an end is near, this too shall pass and there is always light at the end of darkness, as I stay clean and continue to work the steps. But it’s important to remember that step two, like all of them, is a process, not an event.
As a southern California native I’ve come to believe in all kinds of things that are energetically spiritual, where there are parallels in each to sobriety and they complement each other beautifully. Surfing and sobriety as a combination is mind blowing. It just doesn’t get much better than standing on top of a wave in the vast and powerful blue water, looking out over the horizon and enjoying the ride…sober.
Life and sobriety are kind of like surfing; sometimes there are is a lull and gentle waves, other times the crashing ferocity of huge swells! Both require patience, humility, and presence, forgiveness and a faith or trust in something uncontrollable, and much bigger than me.