how do i get myself to believe step 2 | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups - Part 6

how do i get myself to believe step 2

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    Hey!!! I knew those words sounded familiar! They should…I wrote them. :c031:



    @mise06 2872667 wrote:

    I believe that its up to me to get myself clean, god is not going to do that for me. So a greater power has to restore me to sanity. Im not sure if i believe this. Is it not through will power, perserverance, time and being clean that i will be restored to sanity.

    How can i move to step 3 if i dont believe step 2?

    Friend, you will need a certain amount of will power and perseverance in any case, but all the will power you can muster won’t solve the long-term problem of Alcoholism and/or Addiction … IF that’s what you have … because the nature of the problem is that it’s CAUSED by Will Power.

    Didn’t you read that in the Big Book yet?? As archaic as the writing may be, this is a theme that is touched on several times, and emphasized, Will Power cannot solve the problem, and later it’s explained that our problem consists of Self Will and Will Power gone berserk and carried to extreme. How can you develop LESS will power? LESS Self? Hmmm?

    Last question you asked, can you move to 3 if you don’t believe 2? No and yes. It depends on your willingness vs. unwillingness. Probably no alcoholic thoroughly believes in God and all that entails — even if they think they do — until after some time working the other steps. Look at all the AAs who say they believe but live in a state of fear.

    The chapter “We Agnostics” is not written for “those other people”. It’s for everyone.

    It’s almost certain you WILL move on to Steps 3 and 4 and more before you REALLY come to believe in God, and maybe you will always entertain some doubts, it’s up to you how much entertaining of doubts you wish to enjoy, I prefer to entertain people and pets. Eventually, your own progress and experience and familiarity with Self vs. Spirit should probably make you a deeper believer. Here’s what I mean by that:

    To make it simpler, deal with the following questions in brief (which are posed in the Book in some form).

    The reason alcoholics cannot stay sober on their own, by use of their willpower and ego, according to “AA doctrine”, is that the problem is human ego a.k.a. Self (a.k.a. “You” and “Me”). Self-Will Run Riot, they call it, in the Step Three section.

    So the cause of your problem — Self — cannot very well be the source of your solution … Can it? Think about it.

    Does the above make sense to you?

    This is precisely what makes alcoholism/addiction so baffling. Conversely, if you really CAN stop and stay stopped with Will Power, then you probably do not have alcoholism/addiction, or you only have temporary physical dependence, maybe some mental dependence. The Book talks about such a person, the non-alcoholic who is a mere “heavy drinker” who may even need hospitalization, but who can quit if Life or loved ones push them to quit.

    That’s basically what the First Step is saying, especially when the First Step is “informed” by the chapter on Step Three. I would not re-write the Big Book but we can talk about it like it’s 2011 instead of 1937, right?
    The inability to stop and stay stopped using only Ego-Power, that’s the message in Chapter 2: There is a Solution and Chapter 3: More about Alcoholism.

    It’s also a rephrasing of the A. and B. in the “Three Pertinent Ideas” that we read at meetings.

    Thing is, this stuff explaining Ego is actually defined in Chap 5 after A, B, and C, where Step 3 begins, and My Ego was more difficult to comprehend from a detached perspective than getting an idea of God I could live with.

    So if Ego (you) is the problem, then you need some kind of Power greater than You, alone, or even “a group of humans”. Our Ego is not the totality of who we are. Do you believe that? Even in Freudian terms, Ego is only one aspect of the Mind, and Sigmund Freud denied the existence of any Spirit, preferring “Id” which is like “animal instincts” (I think).

    But Freud’s student, Karl Jung, did believe that Man possessed a Spirit or Spiritual Nature. (Karl Jung is the famous doctor psychiatrist who treated the man who helped another drunk and that 2nd drunk sought out his old college buddy Bill Wilson.)

    So do YOU possess a spiritual nature? Do you appreciate beauty? Do you have a faint recollection of Love? Can you remember laughter (as Led Zeppelin asked)? You could ask yourself similar questions.

    If so, then this could be called a Spiritual Nature which exists alongside your Ego, and if that’s true, then it’s shadow is probably evidence of the substance of the “Sunlight of the Spirit” that Bill Wilson wrote about when he was discussing Resentments.

    In my case, my real clear opportunity to begin to comprehend the meaning of “Ego” in contrast to “Spirit” came during the writing steps, AFTER I had made the Step Three decision to trust Spirit.

    For the sake of argument — that means, try this idea on for size, whether you fully believe it or not — if the Sunlight of the Spirit is who we mean by “God”, and you are aware of that Sunlight, then you already DO believe in some kind of a God of Mankind or Spiritual Force, or at least you have access to a belief in God. The difference is this is not limited to some dogmatic church-y interpretation of the idea of God. Instead, you may believe in some other concept that appeals to you, a Universal Spirit or whatever … Love.

    This, believe it or not, is actually in tune with early Christian concepts, as the term “God is Love” appears somewhere in the book of John. I’m more of an AA member than a bible scholar — I don’t consider myself a Christian at all, and my background is a Jewish-Agnostic family, but some of the ideas of that Jewish Rabbi were SOLID and TIMELESS, imo.

    If you are 100% unwilling to consider these ideas, then you are hopeless now, until drinking/drugs and your alcoholism (assuming you have that syndrome) softens you up a bit. However, few people are that unwilling to accept these open-minded possibilities.

    So you don’t have to “keep it simple” per se, but SIMPLIFY your own concepts. A lot of people coming to AA are way more dogmatic than the Program. Don’t let your dogmatic ideas become a roadblock, be more flexible, as the AA founders promoted flexibility, and choose simple concepts that you can accept.

    If you take this kind of non-dogmatic approach, it’s a piece of cake to decide if you are willing to let that Spiritual Force run your life and to abandon your Self. Self ain’t working too good for you anyhow, is it? Self is driving you to drink/drug. It then makes sense to move on to the next section where we identify (in order to later be rid of) various “manifestations of Self”, such as anger when our Will (our wants) are threatened or harmed, and fear of what is going to happen to you and me in some imaginary situation. These mental states, they say, reinforce our Self and block our spiritual nature.

    I hope I’m making a little bit of sense.



    I see Gmoney’s comment to someone on another thread:

    If your insinuation is that AA’s literature is somehow “better” and that we NA people need to remember where the 12 steps come from…you’re picking a fight that puts a foot in your own mouth

    That was not my intention. For the record, I am an AA member who is also an addict. Though the wording is somewhat archaic, once I was able to comprehend what the AA Book was saying to me, and how it applied to me, I found it very valuable on several key points, such as “playing God” (judgmental, imagining the future and fearing that, acting as though my thought power — worry, wishing for stuff with a self-pitiful sigh — could alter the future) and gradually came to understand the nature of my Will and Ego.

    I didn’t post here to be superior or anti-NA. Thanks.

    Addendum: by the time you have finished the readings and “opening” around Step Two, then “God could and would if he were sought” implies to me that God will restore me to sanity, at least sanity with regards to drinking and drugging, I will regain the ability to say “no” easily, one day at a time, and say “yes” to life, so long as I continue to participate in this process.

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