If you’re at all familiar with the 12 steps of AA, you probably know that they’re a very spiritual program. But what is step 2 in AA, the second step is where participants begin to create a relationship with a higher power, a relationship that they’ll explore more deeply as they move on to other steps.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
There are two ways you can approach recovery: entering treatment simply to comply with the wishes of your loved ones (even if you don’t really want to) or letting go of your ego and surrendering to the situation at hand.
What Does Step Two in AA Mean?
Surrendering all control of a situation is hard, especially when you’re surrendering to a power that you can’t physically see. Step 2 in AA doesn’t require you to fully surrender just yet. Instead, step two just requires that you learn to get comfortable with trusting a higher power.
In step 2 of AA, we’re starting to emerge from the darkness and cultivate hope. In building this relationship with our higher power, we’re coming to learn that we’re not alone. The idea of this power that is greater than ourselves can feel a bit intimidating at first, but as we work this step, we can realize that it’s actually a source of hope.
We cannot beat addiction on our own. We require a power greater than ourselves to conquer the insanity and despair of addiction.
How to Work Step Two in AA
The end goal of step two in AA is to understand and accept that you need the help of a higher power to overcome addiction. If you weren’t particularly religious prior to starting the 12 steps, choosing your higher power could be a task in and of itself.
To choose your higher power, consider the positive and negative aspects of your family religion as a starting point. Try to decide what exactly you want from your higher power and whether you can come to trust the group of people who follow the power you choose.
The language in step two also talks about insanity. Take some time to do a bit of self-reflection on the moments of insanity that your addiction caused in your life. Ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What kinds of insane decisions did you make as a result of your addiction?
- Did your addiction cause any insanity or chaos in the lives of your loved ones?
- What is your idea of a positive example of sanity?
- How could you change your mindset and behavior to restore yourself to sanity?
Can’t I Do This Without a Higher Power?
Technically, yes. If you’re not at all religious, an atheist version of the 12 steps exists with no religious language. However, to complete the 12 steps of AA, you’ll still need to learn how to surrender your control.
The 12 steps encourage participants to trust in a higher power because it can be infinitely helpful for anyone going through such a significant life event like addiction. Belief and trust in a higher power can encourage feelings of trust, peace, and joy. It can also give you a sense of purpose.
If you’re following the atheist interpretation of the 12 steps, you’ll be prompted to release control and place absolute trust in the wisdom and resources of those who have walked this path before you.
Those who learn how to surrender – whether to a god or not – have a higher success rate in these 12 step programs.
Need Help Following the Twelve Steps?
Learning to place absolute trust in a higher power can be a scary thing. The best part about working the 12 steps is that you never have to work through them alone. There are so many people out there who would be so happy to support you through your journey to recovery.
At Any Length, we strongly believe in the healing power of the 12 steps and we use this methodology to help men and their families find freedom from drug and alcohol addiction. If you’d like to find out how we can help you recover, rebuild trust, and rediscover purpose, give us a call today at (512) 746-7036.