“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” This is the second step from Alcoholics Anonymous (and other twelve-step programs) and it follows Step One in which members surrender to being powerless over alcohol (or other addictions). Believing in a higher power can help make life more bearable. Step Two offers hope that turning to something greater than self will restore sanity. When someone is feeling hopeless and helpless, a new belief can be a solution. It can help those suffering from the disease of addiction see (see disease concept of addiction) but it can also help the family and friends of those who are addicted as well. The key for success is to be open-minded enough to try something different.
Sometimes when men and women join a 12 step program, (AA, NA, OA, EA, Al-Anon – just to name a few) they sometimes feel faced with a dilemma right at the very beginning. The first step is an admission of powerlessness and unmanageability. It can seem as if there is very little hope left. The second step then introduces the concept of a higher power and some members find themselves struggling with this idea. Members may worry that they will have to believe in a specific higher power. This is not the case. In the second step, the focus shifts to believing in any power greater than self. It may be God or it may be something else. Members have been known to put their faith in the group they belong to because they witnessed the surprising results in the people they have met at meetings. All that is needed is a belief in something – the Universe, Spirit, God, Buddha, etc., etc., etc.
This is an individual’s choice and is strictly up to the member themselves. Sometimes a belief in a higher power starts out slowly and gradually gets stronger as time goes by. Working the steps of the program is what adds strength to this belief. Coming to believe in a higher power is what makes this a solution to the hopelessness that can occur for those newly in recovery. Everyone’s idea of a higher power may be different but the principle remains the same. Trust in a higher power can bring a deeper connection with one’s inner Spirit. This connection can bring a person to a place of being centered, grounded, and filled with hope. Sanity begins to return, slowly at first. It will get better with time as long as a person continues to move forward in working the twelve steps of their particular program. The solution is always found in the steps.
Step One is about getting honest with self. Step Two is about being open-minded to the possibility that a higher power can help in living life in recovery. There is a new hope that can come from this realization. The solution is available to anyone who wants it – an alcoholic, an addict, an overeater, the family and friends of those who suffer from addictions of any kind. This is the best news yet. Everyone can benefit. There is nothing to lose here. Look around the rooms; see the evidence of a higher power helping other recovering members in the rooms; know that this higher power could help you too. It’s worth believing.