Eliminating Limiting Beliefs in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step groups


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Step 2 Is Amazing!

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

A close reading reveals there are three parts:

  • Beginning to believe.

  • Accepting (or starting to accept) a Higher Power.  

  • Getting in touch and accepting the insanity of our addiction.  

Each of these parts can be a real stumbling block if you let it be let's take a closer look.  

Beginning to Believe

Coming to believe is most often recognized as starting to believe in, or accept the notion of a Higher Power. While it is certainly that, it is also the beginning of faith in the Program, the Steps and ourselves the assurance that, however small our trust, we really can recover. 

It usually starts because we begin to identify with some of the others at meetings. Suddenly or slowly, we realize that our addiction, and the resulting behavior, was not unique we are not the only one who has suffered in that way.

Accepting the Insanity of Our Addiction

It is in much the same way that we come to recognize just how crazy our addiction has made us. 

It's important to realize that no one is telling you you're mentally ill or truly mad. Rather it was the practicing of the addiction, the drinking, using, over-eating, sexual compulsion, etc., that made for insane behavior and thought.

Accepting a Higher Power

Any concept of a Higher Power is both potentially controversial and highly personal. The 12 Steps ask only that we come to believe in a power greater than ourselves. How we define that is up to us, but define it we must at least in a most general, and hopefully gentle, sense.

Of course, some of us come to Program with a belief system already in place and that's just fine. Many others, however, have stopped believing in a Higher Power or never did believe in one in the first place. We may have tried prayer and/or religion while practicing our addiction, only to decide it didn't work. We may have had experiences in a church that have turned us away from the whole idea of faith.

Now, we're told, if we are to recovery, we must somehow come to believe. It can seem impossible, but it's not. In fact, the Big Book has a whole chapter devoted to the non-believer.

Essentially, we must become willing to believe in something other than ourselves something that we can turn to for help. In the beginning this might be the group itself. Our definition doesn't need to be very specific at all, just the acceptance that somehow, some way a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.

Love, peace and abundance,

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