The Second Step in the Program of Recovery
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Coming to believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity is much easier than it sounds once we fully grasp that Step Two isn’t asking us to understand or define that power. All it is asking us to understand is that alone we cannot restore ourselves to sanity. We desperately need a power greater than us if we hope to have any sanity in our lives.
Step One should have shown us that each time we tried to make something sane and rational out of our lives, we failed. A good sponsor will help us see the insanity behind our ideas and decisions. And without a power greater than us, we will continue to fail at building a sane life. Whether we are trying to make a living, mend a relationship, or just stop using and drinking — without this power, there’s no hope any of it will ever look like anything close to sanity. Without this power it will continue to look like drama, failure, and “their fault.”
So what stops us from accepting God? Our insane prejudice. We think we know what God is, what God should and will do for us, and what He won’t. The sooner we come to realize we have a lot of ideas about God and that they are probably all wrong, the better.
The Big Book promises us that “the consciousness of my belief will come to me” as we work through the steps. This means God will reveal his power to us as we work these steps. We will come to understand God slowly as we write inventory, make amends, learn to meditate, etc.
If this step is difficult, use the Set Aside Prayer: “God, please set aside everything I think I know about You, the steps, and my own sanity. Help me see the truth so that I may have an open mind and a new experience.”
And remember, we don’t get the promise of being restored to sanity until Step Ten. Keep going!